Gan Sinai Early Learning Center at Temple Sinai of North Dade nurtures the growth of curiosity, creativity, and connection in and among our children by providing a Jewish, child-centered, play-based, and family-focused early learning program in a nature-rich environment. We share an abiding appreciation for the unique seed of holiness that each child plants in the world and each child's capacity to reach his or her brightest potential.
Gan Sinai Early Learning Center at Temple Sinai of North Dade is the first choice for families seeking a Jewish, child-centered, play-based, and family-focused early learning program in a nature-rich environment.
Gan Sinai at Temple Sinai provides positive experiences in Jewish living with the celebration of Shabbat and the study of Jewish holidays through storytelling, music, dance, cooking, role-playing, and arts and crafts. Early exposure to customs and traditions builds strong values and guides our students to feel, understand, live, and love Judaism.
The child-centered approach encourages children to take learning into their own hands, as opposed to being directed by a teacher. Children take responsibility for making choices about what they will learn and explore. Teachers listen for cues and watch interests develop to create appropriate activities, challenges, and provocations for each individual.
The child-centered method is not a new philosophy. The idea actually dates back to the 19th century where preschool was believed to be, “a garden for children” a place where each child could grow at their own pace by exploring their unique interests. This idea has developed over the years into what’s become a popular philosophy of education.
A great deal of research has concluded that play-based learning is genuinely and positively impactful on student learning and development. Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a well-known child development expert in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues that (children) learn best..."when they are mentally active, engaged, social, and can make meaningful connections to their lives, which are all characteristics of play."
In children’s brains, when they’re playing, they’re doing the deepest learning. We know this from educational theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, and others who talk about the importance of play with young children. Both free and guided-play at Gan Sinai help our children grow and learn (and have so much fun!) every day.
As your child's first teachers, parents have an amazing opportunity to nurture your child's growth and development and to advocate for his or her education. That's why we pride ourselves at Gan Sinai on being "Family-Focused." We cannot do the holy work of helping your child grow and learn without you by our side.
Teachers at Gan Sinai are in constant communication with parents sharing evidence of learning and growth and offering you insights on how you can continue your child's growth beyond the school day. And while we will reach out to you regularly, we hope you will do the same to us. We have an open door policy, which means that you are welcome anytime to see your child and our program in action. We welcome your participation! (Until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, we are not allowing parents into the facility. We will happily allow you to see your child learning and growing virtually. Just let us know!
Gan Sinai at Temple Sinai is situated on 14 wooded acres in Sky Lake, across the Oleta River from the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center. A sense of serenity and natural beauty enhance everything we do on campus. We are constantly blurring the lines between inside and out, crafting a learning environment that knows no bounds.
We take full advantage of our natural surroundings with multiple gardens planted and tended by our children, a walking trail through our woods for exploration and discovery, and large, beautiful outdoor play and learning spaces.