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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