Developmental – We view each child as a unique individual with his/her own pattern of growth, personality, temperament, needs, interests, abilities, and learning style. We take each child as s/he comes to us and try to help that child learn and grow to reach his/her potential.
Child-centered curriculum – The curriculum is planned around areas of interest of the children in a given class. Themes, units of study, or projects are developed based on those interests.
Play-based – Children learn best through their play. We do not do formal group academic instruction. Rather, we try to structure the environment and provide interesting materials so children’s learning can be hands-on, fun, and meaningful to their stage of development.
Anti-bias philosophy – We strive to create a diverse school community in which children learn to value & respect themselves and others. We celebrate differences in gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, age, and family structure.
Creating community – We promote pro-social behavior to strive to create classroom communities in which each member is treated with kindness and respect. All classrooms adopt the rules: “You can’t say you can’t play” and “be fair.”
Inclusive – Children with special needs are included in classes with their typically developing peers. We believe this enriches the lives of all the children. When needed, extra staff is hired to facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs.
Parent-governed – Our Board is comprised of administrators, teachers, and parents of children currently in the preschool. It is a working Board in which each parent member oversees some aspect of governing the preschool.
Independent – We are one of the few early childhood programs that is not part of a larger umbrella organization. We are incorporated as a not-for-profit preschool and have total freedom in the design of our program and total responsibility for its finances and governance.
Community outreach – One of our goals is to provide financial assistance to enable families who cannot afford to pay the full tuition to send their children to Cherry Preschool. No family is turned away because of its need for financial assistance. We also offer a Latino Parent/Child Class, which is taught in Spanish for children whose home language is Spanish.
Innovative – Cherry is committed to new approaches in early childhood education, from curriculum to school operations and management (e.g. Project approach, classes with clusters of children with special needs, intergenerational programming, and administrative management team).
Parental participation – Everyone needs to contribute in some way. There are many different opportunities. This is a great way to build community, meet new people, and show your child that you value what s/he is doing in school.