Early literacy studies have undergone a profound transformation in recent years. Not long ago, early literacy was largely neglected. The assumption was that literacy learning begins around first grade, not before. Reading instruction was ignored during early childhood years. Academic skills used to be postponed until a child's natural maturation unfolds.
Levine's Early Childhood program has embraced a best-practice, brain research-based, "emergent literacy" approach. And it's happening at the very youngest age level. A prime example is happening right now in our Two's program as students are learning nursery rhymes and enacting Purim songs. Earlier this month, our Two's students focused on Humpty Dumpty, and their connection to the classic rhyme was strengthened by building the walls, adding small blocks, horses, and plastic eggs to reinforce the meaning. Creativity becomes a prime goal as students created waffle blocks and painted them to construct the wall for Humpty Dumpty. Hands-on, tactile, and song activities are designed to galvanize student engagement in these classic rhymes. These classroom approaches, like watching the egg fall and crack, representing Humpty Dumpty's fall, give teachers an effective means for teaching the cadence and rhythm in language.
The unit on nursery rhymes leads straight into the teaching of Purim songs. Core literacy training, thus, becomes a method of connecting our early childhood students to Jewish traditional stories and to the calendar of celebrations. Of course, Purim is a prime opportunity for creative projects like grogger-making, decorating bottles which they fill with popcorn to make a noise every time they hear Haman's name.
In our early childhood program, we see the confluence of literacy, creativity, Jewish joy, collaboration, and fine-motor activities as a way to realize whole child education, a hallmark of the Levine Academy experience.
Additionally, we are excited to announce a fundraising project that is underway in our ECC. We are in the process of raising $250,000 for a new playground for our little toddlers. The 2's and 3's playground will be renovated to match the amazing, new, and improved style of our larger preschool playground. The playground is being built in honor of Beverley Lewin & Betty Kenner, two ECC teachers who have provided a combined almost 60 years of love and learning to our children here at Levine. We are excited for this new project and fundraising is already under way. Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference for our little ones and honor two amazing teachers. Contact Yael Twito, Director of Development, for more information about this project. 972-248-3032 x114.