The Center for Jewish Life is delighted to announce that we will open a new Preschool of the Arts this fall to serve the East Cooper community. This is an exciting development for children to begin their educational journey in new purpose-built, arts-centered classrooms. Preschool of the Arts is founded on the principle that children have an intrinsic desire to explore, and are inherently capable and competent learners. Following the Reggio Emilia Approach, we believe children learn best when they are guided through the process of building meaningful understandings, in a diverse community where their ideas and questions are honored and valued. Our holistic and collaborative inquiry-based curricula continuously evolve and focus on the relationship of the fine arts to nature, science, math, music, and communal interaction. We encourage children to ponder, investigate, and create as a way to make meaning of the world around them. The preschool serves children in mixed-age classrooms, from ages 18 months – 5 yrs.

The curriculum of Preschool of the Arts is designed to give our children pride in our rich and vibrant heritage and the tools to further their Jewish education which will facilitate an easy transition to Addlestone Hebrew Academy where they can build on this foundation.

Leading our new program as Executive Director, we are excited to introduce Rachel Lessard. A Washington D.C. transplant, Rachel comes to us a dedicated and creative education director with 15 years of experience in early childhood education. With expertise in multi-cultural education, ESL, autism intervention, and emergent arts curriculum, Rachel most recently acted as Director and Lead Teacher of Alexandria Academy of Fine Arts and Science in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Rachel completed her education at San Diego State University in Literature, with emphases in Psychology and Linguistics. She is thrilled to join this wonderful program at its inception and build a curious, joyful, and purposeful community.