August 14, 2015 There’s a new preschool in town and, as you may have heard, Landmark Preschool does things a bit differently! With revamped classrooms in the education wing of the Bedford Presbyterian Church near the Village Green and an exciting new playground sized perfectly for their preschool clientele, the school will open its doors in Bedford this September.
“Landmark is so excited to bring our preschool expertise and curriculum to Bedford! We focus on developing the whole child – academically, socially and emotionally – and that is what has made our programs in nearby Connecticut so successful for over forty years,” said director, Ann Hirsch. “Our young students will be engaged in exciting activities from our very first day and we will encourage them to learn through games, music, art and other forms of play. It’s all about having fun, socializing with their peers, developing their use of language and working on social and motor skills. There is a purpose, that includes both fun and learning, in everything we do.”
“Families tell us that what first attracted them to Landmark is our curriculum and what our children are learning. They know that their children will benefit from an introduction to phonics and number concepts at an early age. They agree that children need the chance to play and socialize in a warm, nurturing environment where they are valued and respected. The way that we combine these elements is what makes Landmark Preschool unique.”
In Bedford, Landmark has programs for children ages 1 – 4 years old. This fall they will again offer their popular “Fun for Ones” class for parents and caregivers to enjoy with their children. “We had so much fun meeting new families this spring and getting to know the youngest members of the community. We will definitely be offering “Fun for Ones” again this fall,” said Mrs. Hirsch. The “Fun for Ones” class will meet for an hour one day per week and includes activities that develop children’s language, social and motor skills. The class will be taught by an experienced early childhood teacher and gives families a chance to connect with others that have children the same age.
Once children approach the age of two, Landmark encourages them to take their first steps towards independence and join their Twos program without a parent. Teachers work with each little student as they make this transition and encourage them to develop important life skills. The two-year-olds are introduced to concepts such as colors, shapes, letters and numbers through free play, art, stories, songs, cooking, yoga, outdoor play and interaction with touch-screen SmartBoard technology. Mrs. Hirsch commented, “Our two-year-olds absolutely love coming to school! They have so much fun singing, playing and exploring the world around them. They are learning so much, but to them they are just having a great time.”
The programs for three and four-year-olds incorporate monthly themes, such as community workers, the solar system and dinosaurs. Landmark integrates these topics into the art, stories, phonics, handwriting and math activities that the children do each day. Best of all, Landmark’s low 6:1 student to teacher ratio allows them to create a personal learning environment for each child. “Everyone learns differently and at a different pace,” Mrs. Hirsch stated. “Our teachers pride themselves in being able to individualize our curriculum to meet each child’s needs and appropriately encourage them to grow and learn new skills. It’s a fantastic way to encourage early childhood learning and our students complete our programs fully prepared and confident to take the next step in their education.”
Landmark Preschool has some space remaining in their 2015-2016 classes. They are offering a Summer Special for those families that enroll by September 1. To schedule a tour of the school, families can contact Mrs. Hirsch at 914.393.2293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun for All at Winter Family Fest
February 2, 2016 The Byram Hills Preschool Association is a wonderful way to meet other young families and to form lifelong friendships. For the 260 family members, the BHPA sponsors various events throughout the year. Memberships are available to pre-school families with children ages five and younger who are not yet in kindergarten.
The recent annual Winter Family Festival held on January 31 helps offset the cost of other BHPA events, such as the Spring Fling and the Rockin’ Jump. “This event allows us to put on all those other events for the rest of the year that we don’t charge for,” said Danielle Caravetta, Co-President of the Association. She has co-chaired the Family Winter Festival for the past three years. For over two decades, the festival had been held at the elementary school. This year it was switched to H.C. Crittenden Middle School for more room to dance, bounce, and show off the vendors in a bigger and brighter space.
Although the early spring-like weather may have kept some families outdoors, entertainment from Robert the Guitar Guy and Stretch the Silly Man were engaging. Among the favorite entertainment was the return of the Armonk Dance Troupe and the Byram Hills High School Beat. Both groups dazzled the crowd with some hip-hop and other dance moves in snazzy attire.
Almost everyone was beautifully face painted by Cultural Au Pairs. Balloon animals and other shaped sculptures were seen everywhere, while Minnie and Mickey Mouse charmed the little ones.
The association has a variety of adult subcommittees with social activities coordinated by the Working Moms Committee, the Moms Night Out Committee and other groups. This week everyone is looking forward to the first Valentines Couples Night Out.
Another active adult group is the book club where moms read a book and get together once a month for a lively evening discussion. “It’s a great way to meet parents with kids of similar ages, especially if you are new to the community, and it’s fun,” said Ingrid Schor, who oversees the club. Many of the book titles are intriguing as well as current bestsellers.
A delicious lunch spread made sure no one left hungry as the cafeteria was filled with donations from around town. “Today is a great success because we have so many local vendors that show a sense of community,” said Caravetta. Donations were received from Beascakes Bakery, the Beehive, The Bagel Emporium, Amore Pizza, Broadway Pizza, Pazzo Pizza, DeCicco’s Family Market, and Mount Kisco Seafood. Bravo to those eateries who contributed to the fundraising. The proceeds from the scrumptious Little Helping Hands Committee’s bake sale supports the Sunrise Day Camps for children with cancer and their siblings.
While members may attend most of the BHPA events for free, non-members are charged a fee. Although not an exact science, Caravetta said that by reviewing the current size of the Byram Hills kindergarten class (approximately 160 students), 50% of eligible members participate in the BHPA.
Please visit BHPA.info for membership information.
Byram Hills Preschool Association
If you live in the Byram Hills school district with a child or children — from newborn (or soon to be born) to age 5 — the Byram Hills Preschool Association (BHPA) is for you! The BHPA is a non-profit organization that offers its members terrific benefits throughout the year, including:
Children's activities such as the fall carnival, holiday parties, the winter family festival, crafts, opportunities to give back, playgroups and more
Events for parents, including mom’s nights out, a book club, networking opportunities and fitness activities
Resources such as the BHPA kindergarten preparation program (S.O.S.) and the C.H.I.L.D. (Children Having Individual Life Differences) program