The Albany Y has begun a new play-based Spanish – English bilingual program for children ages 2.9 to 5 years old.
I had the pleasure of visiting last week and discovered a delightful group of 5 children singing, playing, and learning together. They are a diverse group – speaking several different languages at home but they came together in the joy of learning through play. Halloween preparations were underway with pumpkin painting to add to the fall decorations in the room. Each child is given individual attention by the obviously caring teachers. During sharing time, each child had their own story to tell or special item to show off. After being sure that hands are washed, a healthy snack was served with the children gently encouraged to try foods that are new to them. Outdoor play time gave the young people the opportunity to ride sturdy tricycles, play ball, and use the climbing structure in a charming and secure play area. The teachers were part of the various activities ensuring each child had a chance to participate no matter their skill level.
Based on the YMCA philosophy which strives to enhance each child’s mind, body, and spirit, the program has been developed to nourish all facets of a child’s development. Helping him or her learn to get along with others in an atmosphere that builds a positive self-image is among the most important objectives.
Included in each day is music, stories, poems, creative movement, language arts, group and individual activities, arts and crafts, outdoor play, and healthy snacks.
All staff members serve as positive role models; respecting each child and helping him or her feel like a valued member of the community. Each staff member is carefully screened to pass the health, education and experience requirements of the Y. This is a licensed child care program with all staff trained in CPR and First Aid. All staff members have passed a fingerprint and criminal records clearance.
Development skills learned at the Y preschool include
- Getting along with others
- Following directions
- Play and having fun in individual activities
- Participate in group activities other children
The goal of the preschool is to help children as they grow in a society that demands bilingual capabilities. The fundamental building blocks of life are taught in both English and Spanish resulting in a good head start for the future. All children are welcome at the preschool regardless of the language spoken at home.
The Y preschool is based on the philosophy that the relationship between the Y and the family is one of partnership requiring interaction and clear communication between staff and parents. Parent input is encouraged to ensure the best possible environment for the child.
The preschool, located at 1216 Solano Ave. Albany, is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 – 12:00. All participants must be potty trained. Fees range from $300 to $560 depending upon the number of days attending. Financial aid is available. For further information about this unique program or to arrange a site visit, please contact Alicia Butler, 510 525 – 1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be an open house on Sunday November 4 from 1-3pm. 1216 Solano Avenue. Please RSVP to Alicia Butler at the above phone number or email address.