Pre-K Academy enrichment programs to begin at the J this month

Families with children ages 3-6 are invited to try two, free, academic enrichment programs at the Jewish Community Center. Parents are also encouraged to take advantage of an opportunity to preview the new Pre-K Academy and Pre-K Academy Jr. classes, which start this month at both J locations. 

These enrichment classes were developed by Pre-K Academy in response to a comprehensive guide to predictors of academic success as published by the National Institute for Literacy. The program is new to St. Louis, but Founder and CEO Jill Leshin reports that current assessment data in other markets shows five-day (a week) Pre-K Academy students scored 90 percent or above on all nine predictors of later academic success.

“We believe that every child deserves a running start into kindergarten,” says Leshin. “It starts with a warm, nurturing, environment where children feel safe. We then teach pre-reading, writing and math skills through a multi-sensory, systematic phonemic approach. Our classes make learning fun and meaningful for children, and also lay a strong foundation for success.”

St. Louis families can preview and then register for the following classes starting Jan. 10:

• Alphabet Action Adventures (ages 3-5) combines creative movement, yoga, music and art to teach letter/sound recognition and much more, including impulse control, mental flexibility and following directions.

• Letter Engineers (ages 3-5) pairs children with objects (such as Lego, puppet pencils, letter sticks) to explore their creative sides and build letters. Children will learn about physics, problem-solving while understanding correct letter formation. Uses the Handwriting Without Tears program.

• Reading Rock Stars (ages 4-6) will take children on a magic carpet ride through the world of language and literacy. They will practice rhyming, explore word families, learn sight words and begin simple decoding.

• Mathematical Minds covers beginning math concepts through music, games, problem solving. Puzzles and more. Children will explore beginning math skills such as numerical order, math facts, fractions and measurements. 

Free preview classes will be held Jan. 10 (Fox Building in Chesterfield) and Jan. 11 (Staenberg Family Complex in Creve Coeur. More information is available at, or by contacting Emilie Brockman at [email protected] or 314.442.3267. At this time, Pre-K Academy is only offered at the J.