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January 14, 1994 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-01-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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gramming developed is the Nir-
im professional enrichment pro-
gram for educators of grades
K-12. It includes a number of
instructional opportunities with
specialists, retreats and work-
shops and features a cash in-
centive.
The AJE offers early childhood
educators a different option.
As no full- or part-time
staffer exists to act as a liaison
between the agency and the
nursery schools, a one-time
event has been created this
year.
Shabbat Magic: An Evening
of Professional Enrichment for
Early Childhood Jewish Edu-
cators offers five workshop
choices, ranging from puppetry
to music and ritual, on Jan. 18
from 6-9 p.m. at the AJE. A
Havdalah service, kosher din-
ner and program discussing
symbols of Shabbat are includ-
ed in the $15 fee.
About 125 educators are ex-
pected.
Shawn Locke, director of
school services for the AJE, said
early childhood educators have
not been included in the Nirim
program because of their specif-
ically different needs and back-
grounds.

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The AJE offers
early childhood
educators a
different option.

"Many of these teachers are
full-time or part-time, as op-
posed to hourly. Most are certi-
fied or have teaching
credentials," Ms. Locke said.
"What many feel they are lack-
ing is extensive knowledge in
Judaica."
Early childhood educators
meet monthly. Ms. Locke at-
tends those meetings. She
hopes brainstorming for long-
and short-range plans springs
from the program and the in-
formal discussions. A separate
professional enrichment pro-
gram is a goal.
"This (nursery school) is an
entry or re-entry point for many
families. It is a crucial time to
excite children because they are
so willing and able to take it all
in. At this time families begin
to explore what Judaism means
for them," Ms. Locke said. "We
at the agency need to be able to
help early childhood directors
answer such questions, em-
brace families and their needs.
"By the sheer numbers of
Jewish pre-schools in the area,
it seems pretty obvious that the
community has realized the im-
portance of a positive, Jewish
experience early on. This is
more than babysitting." El

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