Center in Seattle, WA 98112
1617 Interlaken Dr. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
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At the Seattle Hebrew Academy, we offer a high quality, licensed, and developmentally appropriate program, wonderful staff, and a terrific curriculum for children who will be 1, 2, 3, and 4 years old by August 31. Our parents seem to understand the positive influence early childhood education can have upon their children, as well as the important role their participation and support plays in that education.
In Early Childhood, Judaics are integrated naturally throughout the day, enabling children to internalize this important element of their lives in meaningful ways. Our child-teacher ratios enable the staff to develop a personal relationship with each child and to encourage individual advancement. This is done in a caring and comfortable learning environment, where a childs unique abilities can be recognized and fostered. Many of our staff members return each year and this affords us continuity and mutual growth.
Our facility is cheerful, spacious, and easy to access. Childrens art pours out of the classrooms into our hallways. We have a magnificent early childhood playground and large indoor play area with opportunities and room to climb, run, throw, ride, engage in fantasy play, and dig! This may be Seattle, but we get outside just about every day of the school year! Interlaken Park, conveniently located across from the school, offers a ravine which is conducive to nature walks under trees which keep us dry on rainy days. Volunteer Park is another favorite destination with a playground, a picnic area, and a botanical conservatory! Our central location enables children to come from many neighborhoods in the Seattle area.
Our curriculum, highly influenced by each childs ability and interest, is primarily Torah, Shabbat, and holiday-based and integrates general studies within this context. Ivrit, Hebrew language, is integrated regularly into our daily lives in all classes and is emphasized mostly in the oldest class. Most of our children join us for more than one year, providing us the opportunity to build on the strengths and the curriculum base they carry with them from the previous year. We provide a sound general studies program and a strong Jewish curriculum, rich in Torah values; young children are like sponges in the way they learn and families from all backgrounds can benefit from our curriculum.
When learning about the story of Noach and the Tevah (Noah and the Ark), for example, we may incorporate topics such as animals, counting by 2s and 7s, sinking and floating, animals, rain and flooding, transportation, etc. Preschoolers love rainbows and this is a great way to introduce them into our curriculum. We use this particular Torah portion as our introduction to color names (Hebrew and English), color mixing (color magic), and some coordinated Early Childhood-wide special color events.
Community service is an important way for us to show the importance of caring for others. A few of the things with which we have become involved are the Jewish Family Services Latke Bag drive, the daily collection of tzedakah (money for charity), and our annual participation in the Muscular Dystrophy Hop-a-thon.
Field Trips and class visitors are ways we enrich our program. We have welcomed such visitors as our neighborhood letter carrier, a beekeeper, a weaver and Canine Companions. We have visited or plan to visit some of Seattles special places, including the Childrens Museum, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, Volunteer Park (and its Conservatory), the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Seattle Childrens Theater, puppet theaters, the Science Center, Kelsey Creek Farm, Seattle Symphony, and Camp Long. Our field trips are dependent upon the availability of parent drivers, who must have current CPR and First Aid training.
Other forms of enrichment include our music and our creative movement sessions. A guest reader visits each class once a week and we have an all-school pre-Shabbat sing-a-long on Fridays. The Bookmobile arrives monthly from the Seattle Public Library system, allowing the children and teachers to supplement the books we have in our classroom. Our 4-year-old class has weekly swimming lessons . Perhaps the most important form of enrichment that we encourage is our volunteer program, where families share skills, talents, professions, and mostly their time. Volunteers may help in the classroom, at home, or on field trips; we are flexible as to how the SHA service hour obligation is met and the children reap the benefits!
Children may begin their day as early as 8:15 and we offer options of 1:30 or 3:30 pick-up times. Children enrolled in the 4-year-old class attend five days a week. Younger children attend three (M-W-F) or five days a week.
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