Gan Chamesh students experimenting with colors on the classroom light table
Gan Chamesh students enjoying the Light Museum at the recent Chanukah Fun House event

Gan Chamesh, Chabad’s early-childhood center, continues to take inspiration from the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early-childhood education. Reggio stems from a small city in Italy, where young children’s education is celebrated and viewed as an incredibly important foundation for a child’s future learning and well-rounded success.

Gan Chamesh has enthusiastically embraced the most important tenet of the Reggio Emilia approach–that the environment is the child’s third teacher. The parents are the child’s first teacher, the teachers are the second, and the surroundings act as a child’s teacher as well. Children thrive and develop most optimally in a beautiful, natural, and real environment, with natural materials that reflect their interests and work, while also creating the ambiance of a home.

Creating a homey environment
at Gan Chamesh

On a daily basis, children are exposed to hands-on, creative activities using authentic materials, with a great emphasis on light play. All classrooms are equipped with permanent light tables, overhead projectors for shadow play, and ultraviolet lights for glow-in-the-dark fun.

All yomim tovim, parashah, and aleph-beis learning, as well as math, science, literacy, and nature are presented through a Reggio lens. Teachers continuously update their curricula to include the interests of the children, and their learning is documented and reflected upon in a meaningful way.

Gan Chamesh has visitors from all over who are interested in learning more about successfully incorporating the acclaimed Reggio philosophy into their programs. For more information about Gan Chamesh, please contact Susy Adler or Suzanne Wallin, the program directors, at 516-295-2479.


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