What We

Personal and Social Development: At the JCA we provide a warm and nurturing environment where children feel supported and safe. Our curriculum and activities are tailored to meet every child’s needs and interests. We believe children are innately curious and active learners and we design our daily activities with each child’s unique passions and skill set in mind. Our program strives to nurture children’s love of learning and develop their critical thinking skills by offering children access to a range of diverse experiences. Additionally our programming maintains a strong anti-bias philosophy and children will be exposed to and encouraged to explore different cultures through language, food, and art. Children will also be guided in conflict resolution with peers and given the opportunity to practice kindness as well as service to the larger community. Guided by skilled caretakers, our mixed age group will also allow children to develop mentoring relationships, practice role-modeling, and build their empathy and patience by navigating a multi-age social dynamic.


Physical Development: We recognize that young children are physically active, but also at the end of a long school day. Offering a balance between physical outlets and quiet spaces is central to our daily routine. Children will not only have access to our brand new state of the art playground, and full sized gym, our facilities also connect with Portland trails. Children will be encouraged to spend at least part of their afternoons outside whenever possible walking, playing, and exploring. Our raised bed vegetable gardens provide hands on learning opportunities across a variety of subjects. With this, we will help children practice healthy lifestyle choices with physical activity, smart eating habits, and being in tune with the needs of their bodies, minds, and emotions.


Language and Literacy: In addition to daily access to our library’s extensive children’s book collection, children will be exposed to a variety of storytelling mediums such as puppet shows, skits, and on-going stories. Children will also be exposed to book making in a literacy-rich environment and play games that build on their budding reading and writing abilities. Children will be read to individually and small groups and always have the opportunity to read on their own.  Through activities like following printed recipes and directions, they will practice real world application of reading and writing.


Science and Math: Our program will feature a robust science program informed by the STEM curriculum. Through predicting, experimenting, and problem solving children develop skills that are helpful in many areas of their life. Children this age are able to understand and explore basic principles of physics, chemistry, and biology and many of our projects and activities focus on exploring these concepts in fun and meaningful ways. We will continually engage children in long-term, and on-going experiments, experiences, and challenges which complement and expand the knowledge they are already gaining in their normal school day.


Creative Arts: Art will be an integral part of daily schedule. Through access to our fully equipped art room children will have the opportunity to explore mediums such as painting, sculpture, and drawing in addition to our enrichment classes taught by skilled and experienced teachers. Through sharing and caring for materials, working collaboratively, and acquiring new skills and mastery of old, children will build self-confidence and be able to explore specific interests at length. We will also encourage long-term projects and quieter spaces for children to work in a focused way.