Children’s Academy Sarodgini was opened in March of 2008. That is how we have our own little history, with many of our graduates preparing to start school, or already attending school. Our Academy is located on a quiet street in the center of Bellevue. The maximum capacity per day for our school is 26 children. We have two groups here – older, Academicians; and younger, Professors. Each group has free use of 2 rooms – a classroom and a game room. All of the facilities are adapted to fit the children’s needs and wants.
We have many developmental games, including: puzzles, alphabet books, Zaitsev’s blocks, educational bingo, and musical instruments. In our yard, we have a playground, a sand lot, and tables for arts and crafts on a covered terrace. There is also a small vegetable garden. Children participate in planting, and then observe how the plants grow and produce vegetables.
We only cook using natural organic products, while meeting the needs and tastes of our students. Careful attention is given to children with allergies and special dietary needs. Our Academy is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). In accordance with the program, we provide children with a balanced diet for their successful growth and development. We calculate every element of a balanced diet and fill out reports for specialists at CACFP on a daily basis. Breakfast consists of: porridge- pancakes-crepes, fruits-cottage cheese-milk. Snacks: fruits-juice. Lunch: meat soup and pirozhok, milk and cookies, fruit. Dinner: cutlet- buckwheat-salad, cheese sandwiches, yogurt-fruit-milk. Evening snack: fruit, juice-water.
I believe that when working with children, it is important to treat them as equals, or close to equals, and to treat them with respect. My opinion is that raising a completely obedient child will result in the child growing up to be a passive individual, incapable of making important decisions for his or her self. At any age, a child is an intelligent person capable of understanding logic. One can always reach an agreement or find a compromise with a child if one talks to him or her as if to an adult.
At our Academy, all of our decisions are reached with the children’s input, and children are incorporated into every aspect of our establishment. Older children help and explain things to the younger ones. They learn to communicate with one another, and when it is wise to defend what is theirs or when to concede. I remember my joy when I saw the following scene during a walk: one boy tried to take a bicycle from another (things happen), and the other boy said, “I am sorry, but right now I am the one riding the bike. Please do not take the bike from me by force, since we are all friends. Just ask, and I will give it to you.” Maybe it was silly, but at that moment I felt proud for what we are achieving! Especially when the first boy did ask and received the bicycle he wanted.
I would like to point out that without our teachers, the Academy would not be the way it is. They are the ones, who by pouring their souls and expertise into their work accomplish an incredible task; they teach children to love learning, exploring, and gaining knowledge. I had a dream to combine the best from Russian and American preschools and add to it what I wished for my own children. Together, we work hard to achieve this dream!