• Ettie Zaklos

January

2020 was a roller coaster of a year for us all. At Preschool of the Arts, we are so grateful for a community that has ridden it out with us, entrusting us with the care of their precious children during a pandemic, and continues to look to the future with hope. We have come out of a challenging year stronger, more resilient and more dedicated to our mission than ever before. We know the importance of children learning – in-person – in a safe and enriching way. We have seen first-hand the value of community in times of crisis. We have discovered that in limitation comes creativity and innovation and that there is a silver lining in every storm.

The lessons from our year were highlighted in our unique Chanukah event – a large Car Parade that lit up Naples with the light of hundreds of Menorahs! The Covid-safe event allowed our community to revel in the power of togetherness watching a grand drive-in Menorah lighting and fire juggling show – while each family stayed safe in their own car. It was a memorable holiday event that was all the more special in a year of surprises.

What is most special about our POTA community is its forward-focused perspective – dreaming of a better future for our children. This year, our community came together in an incredible way for our “Art With Heart” project that is raising funds for TWO new Studios of the Arts. The art studios are specially designed to embody our Reggio philosophy with natural art materials and every opportunity for our children’s imaginations to soar. We are so blessed that our community stepped up to partner with us in achieving this dream and build an even more magical environment for our children to explore the world around them.

At Preschool of the Arts we believe artistic expression is a constant process that begins with our youngest learners and explorers and is deepened and refined as they form relationships and connections with their world. Each step is part of a larger story and narrative that defines the individual and collective members of our community. Our unique custom-tailored, child-centered curriculum allows children to emerge as independent thinkers with the ability to stretch their minds.

Each of our state-of-the-art classrooms is set up with carefully curated learning centers that include blocks, art, dramatic play, books, manipulatives and scientific discovery. These centers allow the children to choose their area of interest and exploration, exposing them to a wide variety of new and exciting discoveries. Our children learn best by interacting with their peers, teachers and the varying provocations in their environment. Each center has a specific aim and with the teacher’s guidance, helps the children’s emotional, cognitive and physical growth.

Our preschool environment is one that fosters questions, provokes curiosity and stimulates intellectual growth. The outdoor Garden of the Arts and Natural Playscape, indoor Children’s Marketplace dramatic play center, culinary arts and STEM programs all encourage natural curiosities, while our movement, music and gym instructors enhance our innovative curriculum. Each child’s journey has endless possibilities and applications well beyond the walls, spaces and environments that define Preschool of Arts.

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