The Hebrew Academy Orange County has provided a full spectrum of challenging academic activities since 1969. It is supported by strong value based Judaic studies, for co-ed students in preschool and K-8 as well as a high school for girls. However, now they have expanded their efforts to include infant care as well. The Hebrew Academy recently opened an infant care facility that provides care and educational development for itty bitty newborns to children two years of age.
The classroom is right next door to the kindergarten rooms and seems to exude happiness the minute you walk through the doors. No stone was left unturned in order to create a nurturing, safe environment. “One of the hardest things for a new mom to do is leave their newborn child in the care of someone else for the first time,” says Chani Perelmuter, Director of Early Childhood Education. “We try to make that transition as easy as possible.”
Perelmuter takes it even one step further by making sure she is just a few steps away from her precious new students. “My office is literally right here within the room so I can hear it if one of our newborns starts crying,” she says. “I’m always available for really anything that may be needed.”
And she’s right. Sure enough, there her office stood with just a glass wall and an open door between herself and the new space they’ve created. And it’s not just the open door policy that makes you feel welcome. There is an inviting couch just outside her door for new moms to take a load off as well. “We try to make this area as comfortable as possible for new moms that are dropping off their child… like it’s their own living room,” she says.
It is this attention to detail and the needs of parents as well as their kids that have made this class level expansion such a success. “It is our ‘Happy Place,’” says Perelmuter.
And that is a lofty claim to make at a school where every room seems like the designated “Happy Place” on campus. Kiddish magazine had the opportunity to come tour the campus and the new facilities and we were blown away. We started with the new newborn facility and ventured out to explore all the other classrooms. Every room we entered had a new crew of kids that were even more excited than the last. Everyone wanted to show us their new crafts or the science project they were working on. Ever seen a giant robot made of recycled materials? Well the Hebrew Academy has one (courtesy of its budding little future engineers/conservationists). Looking for a hard-to-find Jewish children’s book to help teach a special life lesson? Well the Hebrew Academy has that as well with their well stocked children’s library. The Jewish Federation & Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Long Beach & West Orange County provided a generous donation to help make that happen and PJ Library has been instrumental in providing Jewish children’s books as well.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder the Academy is the only Hebrew Day School in the country to be twice awarded with the prestigious U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon for academic excellence. In addition, the Academy has continuously maintained the highest rating from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for over two decades.
They really aren’t messing around when it comes to the care and academic development of your children. Its dedicated staff, teachers and warm, welcoming community “help to provide a nurturing, yet challenging environment that encourages all students to reach their full potential in order to act as self-confident, responsible citizens with a strong connection to their Judaism and community.”
So drop by and see all the new happenings at Hebrew Academy of Orange County… you are sure to leave with a smile.
For more information please visit www.hebrewacademyhb.com.