Atlanta Jewish Academy's Early Childhood program begins with the K'far, the Infant and Toddler Village (ITV), where children are welcomed from the age of six weeks through two years old. As they grow, they advance through K'tantanim (three year olds), Ganon (four year olds), and Gan (kindergarten). At AJA Early Childhood, our children engage with the natural world, individuals, a rich variety of materials, the traditions of our ancestors, and the language of our people.
What sets our program apart from other Jewish early childhood experiences?
- As part of the Atlanta Jewish Academy, we offer our children a cohesive, integrated Jewish education from infancy through 12th grade.
- Our Hebrew immersion program, which allows our children to learn the language that is the foundation of Jewish life in the easiest, most natural way.
Our Early Childhood program is inspired by Reggio-Emilia, and we invite the children to influence the direction of our learning within our curricular goals by incorporating interest-driven projects into our teaching. We provide the children with the opportunity to explore and express themselves through "a hundred languages," including music, movement, writing, art, stories, dramatic play, cooking, games, manipulatives, discussions, block play, computers, physical education, gardening, and numerous artistic media. We believe that the documentation of our educational process is integral to keeping our parents an informed, significant part of our learning community.
At AJA, we are serious about our love for Israel and the Hebrew language. Our Hebrew immersion program, beginning in the twos and extending through kindergarten, helps us to realize our commitment to Israel. Recent research in this area has indicated that when a child learns a second language before age six, he will learn it in the same place in his brain where he learned his mother tongue.
Knowing that early Hebrew language learning is good for our Judaic and academic goals, we ensure that children spend significant amounts of time with a Hebrew-speaking teacher. We teach language through games, movement, singing, elaborate Israeli-style birthday rituals, dances, pantomime, and quality Israeli children's literature.