Preschool Spotlight - Madison Cooperative Nursery School

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As part of a preschool spotlight series, here is our interview of the Madison Cooperative Nursery School. The school is located at 4 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ 07940. To learn more about the Madison Co-op, visit www.madisoncoop.org, or call (973) 377-2501 to schedule a tour. I have to say that I have so many friends who have had their children attend the Madison Co-op... and they have nothing but positive things to say.  The experience their children had at the co-op created lasting friendships... for both the children, and all of the families.  It truly sounds like an amazing place.

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1. Tell us a little about the school.

The Madison Co-op is a state-licensed nonprofit preschool for children ages 2 ½ to 5 years old. Our objective is to provide a stimulating and enjoyable educational environment where the individuality of every child is recognized. Emphasis is placed on offering a secure, creative, and caring atmosphere for our children to learn positive social skills, self-reliance, emotional maturity, and tolerance and acceptance of others.

While classes are taught by state-certified teachers, our cooperative program also allows parents the opportunity to play an integral role in the learning process. Parents participate in the classroom on a rotating basis, enabling them to share in and contribute to their child’s education. The result is a parent/teacher team that is dedicated to helping each student reach his or her full potential.

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2. Can you describe the age groups, activities, and academic curriculum used at the school?

We offer the following classes for children ages 2 ½ to 5 years old: - The 2 ½ year old class meets Monday & Tuesday from 9:00 am-11:30 am - The 3 year old class meets Wednesday-Friday from 9:00 am-11:30 am - The 4 year old class meets Tuesday-Friday from 9:00 am-11:30 am Enrichment classes of Yoga and Music are included in the above programs.

We offer several enrichment programs for the 3s and 4s classes including: - Lunch Bunch:  The 3 and 4 year old classes have the option of bringing a brown bag lunch and staying at school from 11:30 am-1:00 pm on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays. - Little Chefs Yummy Tummy Cooking Club:  Tuesday afternoons from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm for children 3-6 years old. - Camp Funky Monkey:  Our Summer camp program – 1 week in June, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm for children 2 1/2 – 6 years old.

We also offer programs for younger children of current and new families: - Mommy and Me Program: Parent/child playgroup meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:00am-10:30am for children under 2 1/2

Our play-based learning curriculum is designed to motivate and support the children in their development of social skills, academic concepts, language acquisition/communication, and concentration. Our teachers orchestrate play activities and spaces that allow our children to actively explore their interests, try new things, solve problems, create, and test ideas. We guide learning with encouragement and feedback, providing the language and knowledge necessary to help children articulate and recognize the concepts that emerge during play. This approach helps them gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and surroundings, while in an environment where they feel safe, understood, and validated.

In addition, we provide wonderful enrichment programs, such as music classes, yoga instruction, classroom exhibits from the Morris Museum, chick hatching, Tiny Tot Concerts, educational field trips, and more.

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3. What are the regular hours at the school and what are the extended hours available to parents?

All regular classes meet from 9–11:30 am. Students in our 3- and 4-year-old classes have the option of participating in our Lunch Bunch program on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays (11:30 am to 1 pm). Our Little Chefs Yummy Tummy Cooking Club, for children ages 3–6 years old, meets on Tuesdays (11:30 am to 1 pm).

We also offer additional programs for younger children: Mommy and Me, a parent/child playgroup that meets on Wednesday morning (9–10:30 am).

4. What is the academic calendar? Is there a summer camp at school?

The Madison Co-op’s regular school year runs from September through June. Camp Funky Monkey, our summer camp program, runs for one week in June (9 am–12 pm) after the school year has ended and is available for children ages 2 ½ - 6 years old.

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5. What is the registration process? Do you have open houses? If yes, when?

Applications can be obtained by contacting our school at (973) 377-2501. Please call us or check our website (www.madisoncoop.org) for upcoming open house date.

6. What is the philosophy of the school and why should parents living in this area choose your school for their little ones?

We are a "Cooperative." Our aim is to provide an educational environment for preschool children. We accept the unique quality and individuality of every child. Our responsibility then is to guide the child's growth toward social interaction, emotional maturity, acceptance of limits and an acceptance of other adults. Sensitivity toward those about him enables the child to reach out and grow more creatively. The educators are dedicated to the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of each child.

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The Madison Co-op is a great choice for parents who want to be involved in their child’s first educational experience, as well as for those looking for a preschool that provides a safe and caring atmosphere for their kids to learn, be social, and have fun!