Once a week, PreK students learn American sign language (ASL), starting in September. In January, Playgroup students will also begin weekly instruction, which is incorporated into the curriculum with multiple visual prompts. ASL is one of the most widely used languages in the United States, and the fourth-most studied second language at American universities. When children learn both English and ASL, they simultaneously use both sides of their brain, enhancing their recall ability.
Music & the Arts
Music Together©: Once a week, children participate in Music Together©, a multicultural program that promotes and embraces diversity through singing songs from different cultures, role playing, hand motions, and dancing.
Singing with Teacher John: Once a week, Quaker-in-Residence John Scardina visits the classroom to talk and sing songs with the children about kindness and friendship, which emphasizes each child's unique strengths and qualities.
Creative Movement: Once a week, both Play Group and Pre-Kindergarten students participate in a Creative Movement class. The class combines different movement challenges that teach children dance expression and basic choreographic movement and strengthen cognitive understanding of physical patterns.
World Language & Culture
Spanish: The Spanish Language Program focuses on the aural-oral approach to language learning. The classroom experience integrates rhymes, music, songs, games, storybooks, finger plays and movement. Our three-day program develops listening, auditory discrimination, auditory processing, speaking skills and linguistic awareness in the Spanish language in an age-appropriate manner.
Master Painter series: The children learn about each artist and their style of artwork, and then have the opportunity to replicate famous works and create masterpieces of their own. Each child creates a beautiful
art portfolio that is comprised of eight unique masterpieces. Pre-Kindergarten children study and imitate the more modern artists of our time, including Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Leonardo da Vinci.
Cultural Arts: Visiting authors, famous storytellers, instrumental and dance performers enthrall our youngest students in the classroom and in our Lower School library, while the older ones also enjoy performances in our state-of-the-art Theater from Chinese acrobatics to matinees of our Upper School performances.
Early Childhood partners with a variety of community organizations across Long Island, including nature- and science-based programs, storytellers, dance performers, local fire departments and cultural programs.
Fine & large motor development
Physical Education: Students travel three times a week to the Field House, a space used by all for physical education. Dedicated physical education teachers incorporate gross motor skill-building into lessons with ball play, skipping, hopping, and scooter-play.
Outdoor Playground: Two to three times a day, students are able to enjoy free time on our age-appropriate multi-faceted playground, fenced-in courtyard, or explore our 65-acre campus hiking nature trails, investigating natural elements (including picking from our apple trees), running and playing on our upper sports fields, walking the track, and more. In the fall and spring, children criss-cross the Quad in developmentally appropriate tricycles and balance bikes.
Partnering with Parents
We encourage all parents to join their child's experience in the Withington House during various celebrations (Thanksgiving, Holiday Sing-a-long, Halloween, Learning Celebration and Spring Sing). Additionally, we invite parents in year-round for our Family Baking and Crafting series, where parents can either cook or bake with their child's class, lead a craft or read a story.