Nursery at EHHS ready for youngest students

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Feb. 24, 2012
Mora Martin and Nann Thompson are teachers in the family education program and oversee the nursery school. Photo by Frances Taylor.
Mora Martin and Nann Thompson are teachers in the family education program and oversee the nursery school. Photo by Frances Taylor.

When it comes to nursery school, parents looking for a place where the youngest children can learn important social and developmental skills might consider checking the local high school. For the past 20 years, the nursery school program at East Hartford High School has been a place where students with an interest in early childhood education learn to work with young children.

The nursery school is part of the family and consumer sciences department at East Hartford High. Classes also include a preparation for parenting course called “Think it over, baby,'' where students take responsibility for a computer-based “baby,'' that must be regularly fed, clothed and held. 

“It's one of our most popular elective classes,''said Mora Martin, who has taught in the department for the past 18 years. With that many years in the school, Martin said, “I've seen our nursery students come back as high school students.''

In the nursery school program, students who may be interested in pursuing a college degree in early childhood education learn to create lesson plans and age appropriate activities for youngsters 3 to 5 years old. The nursery class high school students are supervised by Martin and teacher Nan Thompson. “Parents who are interested in our program should know that the student teachers are supervised, and we guide them in the preparation of age-appropriate crafts and activities, as well as developing social skills, while reinforcing concepts such as the alphabet, numbers and colors,'' Thompson said.

The nursery school is designed as an eight-week program that will begin on March 20, and run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. until May 17. The cost for the entire eight-week program is $30. The program has openings for 10 to 15 youngsters.

When it comes to childcare, $30 for an eight-week program is very low cost, but the program has found itself struggling to fill all the available slots in the past few years. “Because of changes in the economy, many more people are looking for all day childcare,'' Martin said.”Our parents are often looking for socialization opportunities for their children.''

In order to qualify for the nursery school program, the child must be an East Hartford resident and he/she must have had a physical within the last year. For more information call 860-622-5295.

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