When the Olam Jewish Montessori held its open house on August 28, the pony rides and the petting zoo were great attractions for the kids. Equally interesting to both children and parents was the new playground equipment, designed to keep children safe, engaged and learning new skills at the same time.
“As the parents of Olam Jewish Montessori students, we have a wonderful opportunity to incorporate an Outdoor Classroom Experience into our children’s curriculum,” explained Susan Berezovsky, Olam PTA president. “The ability to learn outside will afford our children a unique learning opportunity that will help foster their growing minds and creativity.”
The new equipment from Community Play Things consists of high-quality, state-of-the art early childhood materials that are durable, safe and able to withstand long-term use. The company designs and creates furniture to promote open-ended play, using all-natural materials, keeping in mind the health and safety of the children and avoiding compounds that are unhealthy to children or the environment.
“By purchasing this equipment, specifically the Outlast Set Playsystem, we can help create a learning environment that builds STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills,” said Dawn Kreisberg, OLAM Jewish Montessori director. “STEM will be an integral part of our program this year, incorporating lessons that help children apply math and science through real hands-on learning using new design processes such as this outdoor equipment, and teaching them to work in collaboration as well as independently.”
Kreisberg added, “When children are engaged with tools and materials that promote learning, their imaginations and creativity come to life. OLAM has begun to set up the environment, so our children are engaged in the scientific principles of building and designing different structures. These blocks will offer our children even more opportunities to use their skills and learn to problem solve, innovate, develop social skills and strengthen their muscles as well as their minds. This is the place to start with mathematical and engineering ideas.”
The OLAM community includes students, veteran educators, parents, volunteers, donors and community agencies. OLAM works together to honor the long-standing tradition of the Judaic community, while integrating secular innovative programming, and to preserve the unique natural setting of the Montessori classroom.
Founded as the first Jewish Montessori preschool in Orange County, OLAM aims to give Jewish youth a hands-on educational environment that “allows our students the freedom and guidance to fall in love with learning, Judaism, friends, and the possibility of what they can achieve,” according to the school’s website. For more information, visit the school at 3900 Michelson Dr., Irvine; check out the website at http://www.olamjewishmontessori.com or call (949) 786-5230, extension 201.