Today’s children are growing up in a world vastly different from their parents. These children need to be able to compete to succeed. That’s why many preschool programs are now adding STEM and bilingual programs to prepare young children for life in the increasingly global world in which we live.
A Children’s Carousel has introduced a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program for its pre-K classes. It complements the preschool’s existing math and science curriculum.
“We live in an age of automation and engineering. We must prepare our children early to compete in the global workforce. This starts with us in the Early Learning field as the primary stakeholder in STEM education,” states Terry Chemtov, owner of A Children’s Carousel. “We hope to inspire the future innovators and pioneers.”
He says this will happen through hands-on labs, online applications, programming, coding, robotics and exploration of the world around them in relation to STEM. “I don’t want to give away our secret sauce, but our new STEM program will allow for discovery and then application of material. By allowing the children to explore and breaking up concepts such as ‘terminal velocity’ and its application to the material, we are able to help the students absorb it easier. You would be surprised what children can learn when you set the bar high enough.”
Recognizing that these are four- or five-year-olds, songs, rhythm and other traditional preschool teaching methods will continue to be utilized. Plus, Chemtov says the STEM and robotics curriculum A Children’s Carousel has adopted was specially designed by a team of engineers and scientists to inspire and engage students. “Through Design, Technology and Innovation, children will travel the galaxy utilizing their new-found skills to help solve problems and make it back to Earth with the resources they need to save the planet.”
Being bilingual is another skill that is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. Temple Dor Dorim’s Early Childhood Center is the latest Weston preschool to offer a dual language (Spanish-English) program. For years, Tiny Planet and Tree of Life preschools have offered bilingual curriculums.
ECC Director Sheila Woldenberg says introducing a second language at a young age is beneficial to children. “Research shows that the bilingual brain is sharper and more focused. Students advance in early reading and cognitive skills. In addition, students learn to problem solve and their overall school performance gets better over time.”
Woldenberg says children enrolled in the dual language VPK class will spend the morning speaking English and learning the skills to prepare for kindergarten. In the afternoon, they will study conversational Spanish and learn about Hispanic cultures. The students will learn handwriting through our Handwriting Without Tears program in Spanish, as well as work on core academic skills in math, science, technology, health and nutrition in Spanish.