We opened the doors to The Burke Foundation Early Childhood Center at YWCA Princeton four months ago. Although we are not currently providing walk-through tours (as a safety measure for children and staff), we are happy to share some highlights of what our classrooms have been doing!
Princeton Public School Classroom
Ms. Carissa and Señora Martha are teaching the Princeton Public School classroom, which is on a hybrid schedule. Here’s what they had to say about the past 4 months: “Each day we post our Morning Meeting PowerPoints and daily Home Activities for parents to guide their child’s learning at home. Parents then send us feedback about how their child accomplished their daily tasks. We have been using the parent feedback to help build and inform our studies and objectives and ask that you keep the home documentation coming!
We completed a long term Tree Study, lasting 7 weeks! Our Guiding Questions were: “What are the Characteristics of Trees in our community? Who Lives in Trees? What can you do with parts of a tree? How do Trees change? What food Comes from Trees? Who Cares for Trees?” Through our weekly investigations, we were able to explore the topic of trees in playful, exploratory ways. Activities included measuring and comparing ourselves to babies and adults to gain understanding of how people and trees grow and develop; reading, drawing, observing, and writing about trees and tree parts; singing songs like the “Old Oak Tree” and “The Green Grass Grows All Around; ” and measuring and comparing tree sizes and characteristics.”
Daffodils Classroom (dual language immersion, ages 3 – 4)
Ms. Jackie and Señora Alex teach our dual language immersion classroom for children ages 3 – 4. They reflected on how they adjusted to their new health and safety practices: “The Daffodils spent the first few weeks of the year getting adjusted to their new school. We read books all about wearing our mask, washing our hands and staying safe. Our favorites were “Lucy’s Mask” and “Germs Vs. Soap”. We talked about our feelings and how to play with our friends in school. We spent time learning each other’s names and singing songs together each morning. We learned a variety of songs in both English and Spanish. Our favorite songs are “The Goldfish” and “A la Rueda”. Our favorite part of the day is spending time outside on the playground.”
Sprouts Classroom (infants 8 weeks to 1 year old)
Ms. Yina and Señora Brenda teach the Sprouts classroom, infants 8 weeks to 1 year old. They shared how they’ve incorporated the Creative Curriculum into their daily activities: “As we are just starting December, we have so many things planned using the Creative Curriculum. We will be unwrapping gift boxes so the babies can work on developing their fine motor skills. The Sprouts are also doing an Art project every week for the month of December for the Winter Art show, we will be unveiling a holiday music video and the awesome keepsake for parents for the upcoming holidays.”
Our staff have responded to the challenges of these unprecedented times with creativity, patience, and dedication. The families we serve have remained resilient and understanding in adapting to our safety protocols, and we are proud to provide this essential resource to the community.