St. Theresa adds two Universal Pre-k classes

St. Theresa School has been certified a Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) school by the State Education Department and the Board of Education of the City of New York. The approval, for two 18-seat classes, is based upon a proposal and presentation to the district by the school’s principal, Josephine Fanelli and the school’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten director, Donna Sirabella. Registration for the UPK program, beginning in September, is currently open only to 4-year old children.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs provide a nurturing environment where children’s natural curiosity is used as a springboard to learn skills that are necessary for success in school. Children learn how to share, take turns and work in groups. They also develop skills that form the foundation for reading, writing and mathematics. All Universal Pre-K programs are free.

Children who will turn 4-years old between January 1 and December 31 and who reside in New York City are eligible to participate in the UPK program which runs 2½ hours each day, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

There is a set of admissions priorities for our Universal Pre-K program. First preference will go to 2008 to 2009 enrolled Pre-K 3-year old students, then to children who have siblings already at St. Theresa School, and then all others. If parents choose to keep their enrolled Universal Pre-K children at St. Theresa’s for the afternoon program, there will be a charge of $200 per month. Call St. Theresa School at (718) 792-3688 for an appointment to register your child.

“It is especially rewarding that we’ve been designated a Universal Pre-K school as the requisite program will truly benefit the children and better prepare them for their future education while the cost savings will, especially in these difficult economic times, provide a measure of financial relief to the families in our community.” said principal Fanelli.

“Our school has always been at the fore of preparing children to learn and grow, so this Universal Pre-K certification is another welcome advance in our Parish focus on the education of the children in our community,” said Father Robert Grippo, pastor of St. Theresa Parish,

“As part of St. Theresa Parish, our school embodies the notion of a familial, caring and safe community environment. We are committed to the spiritual, intellectual, linguistic, social and physical development of each child in our care from Pre-K 3 and 4 year-olds, through Kindergarten, and from the 1st through 8th Grades. St. Theresa’s teaching philosophy is based on upholding the dignity of every human being with unconditional kindness and mutual respect.”

UPK Facts

Educational Goals of the Universal Pre-K Program at St. Theresa:

• Encourage initiative

• Foster broader social relationships; appreciate adversity

• Discover the enjoyment of friendships

• Encourage mature expressions of play

• Expand listening skills

• Enhance expressive language and vocabulary; associate with the printed word

• Expand problem-solving skills; understand cause and effect relationships; learn how order or sequence effects

• Explore simple concepts of time, spatial relationships and counting

• Provide early experiences in literacy – print awareness, interpretation of signs and symbols

• Expand gross motor skills involving balance and greater fine motor control

• Foster self control and self-confidence

Universal Pre-K requires class sizes of 18 or 20 and are staffed by one certified teacher and one teaching assistant or teacher aide.

There are facility requirements, health and nutrition practices and unique educational programs required to operate a Universal Pre-K.

There is a Pre-K 3-year old program already at St. Theresa School along with Pre-School and After School programs that the Pre-K 3-and 4-year old groups may register for and attend.

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