With summer around the corner, we interviewed Educational Alliance Preschool Summer Session Director Jessica Bieber to see what’s coming up for kids at MCC this summer!
What makes Educational Alliance Summer Session special?
The Educational Alliance Preschool Summer Session is located within the vibrant, diverse Manny Cantor Center, which presents many wonderful opportunities for collaboration, whether with the Weinberg Senior Center, the Rooftop Garden, or the Materials Center. I know that these relationships will foster friendship, empathy, and learning in exciting ways.
In addition, through a workshop model, children will delve into woodworking, music, filmmaking, fiber arts, gardening, and more! Experienced teachers will share their areas of expertise and passion, and will also partner with children in learning about subjects that might be new to everyone. Children and teacher together will create a culture of fun, curiosity, inquiry, and discovery- I’m looking forward to seeing where children’s creativity and imagination will take us!
Do you have any exciting surprises in store for the summer?
The partnerships with the Weinberg Senior Center are especially intriguing, because we’ll get to know members of the program and learn from their varied life experiences. I’ve heard rumors about a kung fu master in her 90s, and am hoping for a lesson from her! I know that others have interesting talents and skills to share, and I can’t wait to see what might happen.
What’s your favorite thing about working with kids over the summer?
I love the feeling of summer. There’s a freedom, a relaxed attitude, a peacefulness about it. I see this translating to the Summer Session in the way our explorations unfold. There aren’t time limits, or lots of things that we’re required to get through; if children would like to spend a few more days delving into an exploration of clay, for example, we have the freedom to do that! There will be a lot of times when children can choose what they’d like to explore, fostering independence and decision-making.
Why do you think it’s important for kids to participate in summer programs?
Summer programs offer children the opportunity to continue their growth and learning from the school year, but in a slightly more flexible way. Children will be challenged to think in new ways, form new relationships, and build upon their creativity in ways that will stay with them long after the summer session ends. At its core, the summer session is a place where children will foster relationships with old friends and new friends, having fun together in a varied, exciting, and engaging program. What better way to celebrate summer?