Bridges, our transitional kindergarten, was a direct product of the true partnership and
progressive thinking between JCC Early Childhood leadership and JCC Early Childhood parents.
The original idea was sparked by Early Childhood parent Julie McDonald who thought it would be in her pre-K child’s best
interest to have another year before kindergarten. Together with Julie, we embarked on a research journey turning to
progressive models from the California school system to build our cutting-edge program.
During this first year, Bridges evolved as a prime example of our school’s learning philosophy, creating a place where
students’ voices and ideas were respected and valued. The 14 four- and five-year olds in the program led their own daily
meeting, wrote, directed and performed in an original play, wrote creative stories, journaled, began to read and worked
in teams. Best of all, their confidence and self-esteem soared, and each and every student was kindergarten ready!
“The formation of the Bridges class was truly a blessing for us. Our son was challenged every day and
thrived in the open-ended environment. He explored origami, aviation, musical instruments and so
much more, while working on his critical thinking skills and reaffirming his love of learning. This
program is an amazing addition to the JCC!”
– Julie McDonald, Early Childhood parent and JCC member
“The Bridges program is a truly unique environment in which all of the children feel accepted, empowered,
challenged, loved and supported. The values my twins have learned about are being a part of a community,
respecting others’ differences and being an active participant in one’s own learning. I know they will carry
these values with them.”
– Amanda Rosen, Early Childhood parent and JCCmember