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Pitter-Patter of Little Feet in Chester County
Priding itself on a less regimented environment, the Federation program encourages teachers to link subject matter to the interests of the children.
"We want to capture their natural curiosity, as opposed to saying, 'Sit down now and learn about caterpillars,' " said Fredda Satinsky, assistant executive director for FELS.
The program also specializes in early Jewish education by incorporating Hebrew words into daily lessons.
"In learning about the fall season, we introduce words like 'leaves' in Hebrew," explained Satinsky. "We [include Hebrew in] what they're already doing, because those are things they're already interested in."
The program also stresses parental involvement; it offers lessons about holidays and Hebrew, and parents are welcome to sit in and get a quick refresher course on those subjects.
Since it opened in early September, the FELS school has enrolled just four kids, but Satinsky projects that number to rise.
In Chester County is "a growing interest in Jewish involvement," she said. "If you have a quality Jewish early-education program, it might attract more Jewish families."