Our Guiding Principles
We are an inclusive, warm and nurturing preschool, where professional teachers, parents and children work together. We are a place where children and their families can grow and build relationships within a Jewish environment based on Jewish values rooted from Jewish sources. Our mission is to serve as a starting point of lifelong Jewish learning and living.
The OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool is dedicated to planting the seeds to nurture curiosity and creativity, growing a community rooted in Jewish values and cultivating a love of life-long learning.
Our Teaching Principles
The Reggio Emilia approach holds that children should have time to explore, learn and construct knowledge by engaging in their environments through real world, social and sensory experiences. Our teachers support children by viewing them as capable and competent individuals and supporting their ideas and interests through intentional environments and ongoing learning.
Image of the Child
The image of the child describes how people think about children's capabilities, motivations and purpose. At the Leslie Family Preschool, teachers view children as competent, curious, full of knowledge and interested in connecting to the world around them. Teachers are deeply aware of the children's potential and design the environment to support them.
We believe that Judaism is based on inquiry and asking questions. As a community (kehillah), the teachers and children are invested in learning together. The children's learning environments are intentional (kavanah) in connecting to core Jewish values, Jewish holidays and Jewish traditions while simultaneously welcoming and respecting all faiths and cultures.
Family and Community
We believe that the deepest learning occurs in the context of our family, community and culture. By creating relationships through school-wide, family and classroom events including Jewish events open to all such as the Festival of Lights, Shabbat dinners, Tu B'Shvat tree plantings and classroom Shabbat and holiday celebrations, we plant the foundation for a strong and rich community (kehillah) feeling.
The Garden and Outdoor Learning
Our outdoor environment is an extension of the classroom environment and stimulates all aspects of the child's development. By making discoveries in the garden and playing in the outdoor classroom, our preschoolers cultivate personal connections to life cycles, develop independence and engage in social interaction.
As a JCC preschool, our approach is also shaped by Sheva, the Early Learning Framework of the JCC movement. Rooted in the latest research on child development, "Sheva" (which means "seven" in Hebrew) comprises seven core elements of exemplary practice, ranging from viewing children as competent learners and families as engaged partners to nurturing children's love of physical activity and how we incorporate Jewish values.