92nd Street Y Nursery School
Director: Ellen Birnbaum, Associate Director: Shereen Rutman
1395 Lexington Avenue
Award: Outstanding School
Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.
Since 1938, the 92nd Street Y Nursery School has provided a warm and creative atmosphere which seeks to preserve and foster young children’s imagination, curiosity, and intellect. We are a play-based nursery school that teaches children through all of their senses. We believe that children learn best in a clearly structured program which emphasizes creative expression through “hands-on” experiences. We believe that it is important for children to become responsible members of their classroom community. Our goal is to help children establish a secure sense of self-esteem so that they may develop the confidence and independence to fulfill their potential.
Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.
We are most proud of our new Nursery School Library as children’s literature is so important at this time in a child’s development. The director and associate director read monthly to the children and parent volunteers help so that the children in the Nursery School can borrow books.
We have a Mitzvah Committee that has helped us teach the children the value of “Tikkin Olam” or healing the world. We hold a book drive and donate the books to Project Cicero. We have a Holiday
Bake Sale and the unused baked goods are donated to the Goddard Riverside Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless. In addition we donate food to the Yorkville Pantry and are having a Hat and Mitten Drive in conjunction with Giving Tuesday at the 92nd Street Y.
What do you love about your school?
[We] take great pride in our commitment to the individual child, support of our faculty (17 of whom have been here for more than 20 years), and our ongoing education of parents and caregivers. We consider ourselves to fortunate to be part of a vibrant, dynamic school with such a strong traditions going back to 1938. We strive to continue to value the core principles that were established then, while being mindful of the advances in research in early childhood education, brain development, and technology.