Jaclyn Meltzer, Program Director/Educational Coordinator, holds a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education from Hofstra University and state certification in Gifted and Talented Education. Before joining our staff five years ago, Jackie taught at the elementary level for 15 years. She prides herself on bringing out each child’s full potential as a learner while fostering their social and emotional growth. Jackie is a mother of two school-aged girls (one of whom attended BCPS) and resides right in our own neighborhood. She loves spending time being crafty and exploring all the city has to offer. Jackie loves reading and her favorite book for children is a series by Karma Wilson, which includes Bear’s New Friend and Bear Feels Sick. Jackie is CPR/AED/First-Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training.
Q: What exactly is play-based learning?
Play is one of the most significant means by which children explore, investigate, imagine and learn about how the world works and discover their unique place in that world. In play-based learning, structure exists but the emphasis is on guiding children to learn with lessons carried out through play and socialization, rather than academics. It is an active, child-initiated process that supports children’s learning in many domains including physical, social/emotional, creative, science, math, language, and literacy. Play-based learning allows children to play for the sake of learning, not forsake play for learning.
Q: What is your vision for the school?
Our mission statement defines two aspects of what we envision for Bridge Community Playschool. First, we want to offer young children a gentle, safe introduction to this new experience called “school”. And second, we want our student body to reflect the wonderfully diverse community of the neighborhood.
Q: How does BCPS prepare my child for the next step in education?
Here at BCPS, we take satisfaction in knowing we meet and exceed the criteria that NYC private and public schools require and set forth. Our goal is to provide each child with a comprehensive and age-appropriate curriculum that is driven by high standards, yet also caters to the individual needs and emotional nourishment that young children require. I am positive that every child who spends their formative years at our preschool will be set on the path to educational success.
Miss Christine, Lead Teacher, re-entered the workforce six years ago once her two daughters reached school-age. She joined the BCPS staff as an assistant teacher and quickly moved up to lead teacher, first in our 3s class and for the past three years with our 4s. Christine knew she found a new passion (and career) in the education field, so much so that she has now completed a second master’s in Early Childhood Education at Mercy College. Christine also holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research/Psychology from IONA College. She is CPR & First-Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training. Christine’s favorite two children’s books are Are You My Mother by PD Eastman and Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
Q: What is most important for your classroom?
At the preschool level, it is so important to have joy in the classroom. We are teaching the children to share, make friends and learn their letters and numbers, but it is as equally essential to play, sing and dance and instill in each child the fundamental wonder and joy of learning. In fact, I believe it is imperative to nurture the whole child and am glad that BCPS believes this too. It is very exciting to be part of the field of early childhood education and I am happy to be part of such a wonderful school community!
Miss Rebecca, Lead Teacher, joined BCPS first as the assistant Pre-K teacher then graduating up two years ago to a lead teaching position. She holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Rebecca has two school-aged daughters and enjoys exploring the city with her family. She loves instilling the love of reading in children and thinks the earlier the start the better! Her favorite book is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Rebecca is CPR/AED/First-Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training.
Q: What do you do when a class activity doesn’t go as planned?
Flexibility is key when planning class activities, especially for young children who are still in the beginning stages of learning different skills. Teaching is full of obstacles which are to be expected since each child is unique with different needs and sometimes they can change day-to-day depending on a lot of outside variables. I try to focus and emphasize on what works and be flexible in my plans to make adjustments when needed. The important thing in my classroom is for the children to have fun, laugh, and enjoy the activities while they learn.
Miss Diane, Lead Teacher, is excited to join our BCPS team and brings with her a passion and commitment to educating young children in a play-based environment. She has extensive experience as an early childhood education teacher and holds dual master’s degrees, in Early Childhood Education from Touro College and also Elementary Education from Mercy College. Diane loves reading, cooking and spending time with her favorite nephew. Her favorite children’s book is a series by Mo Williams which includes Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” She is CPR/AED/First Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training.
Q: What excites you most about teaching?
Everything about teaching excites me and I can’t imagine working in any profession other than education, especially with preschool-aged children. I love early childhood education specifically because this is the beginning of building an educational foundation and a joy for learning. I always strive to keep the fun in learning and love to sing and dance with the children in my class and I am also most passionate about early childhood literacy, probably because of my own lifelong love of reading.
Miss Lisa, Associate Teacher, was born and raised in New York City and has raised her own two daughters here, so she understands the dynamics of providing a nurturing stability in an ever-changing environment. Lisa has over six years of experience teaching preschool-age children first, as a volunteer teacher in a non-profit setting and now at BCPS for five years. She is CPR/AED/First-Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training. Lisa is in the final stages of earning her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and her favorite children’s books are Green Eggs and Ham and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, both by Dr. Seuss.
Miss Danielle, Assistant Teacher, acquired her undergrad for Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport. There, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the school’s literary magazine and taught procedural classes on editing and publication. She possesses a certification for CPR/AED/First-Aid, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training. Some day, she hopes to reach full fluency in her parents’ native language—Tagalog. Danielle keeps her favorite children’s book, The Little Prince, on her bedside table as a reminder that language opens new spaces and new possibilities.
Miss Tara, Assistant Teacher, is a graduate of St John’s University, Tara was the Assistant Teacher in the Young 4’s classroom at a private school in Manhattan for nine years. After that she transitioned to Head Start as the 3’s Group Group Teacher. Tara enjoys the love and laughter of working with children. She is CPR/AED/First-Aid certified, including Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training and Tara’s favorite children’s book is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
Mr. Rory, Administrative Assistant, acquired his Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and History from The National University of Ireland Maynooth, where he has lived since the age of five. Rory has previously worked in the day camp and sleep away camp industry providing care for children of various ages and needs. Rory has dual citizenship in the US and Ireland. His favorite children’s book series is Curious George by H.A. Rey.
In addition to our regular staff, three specialty teachers join us each week.
Miss Mia designs her music classes to engage children through rhythmic exercises, instrument exploration and sing-a-longs. She uses original kids’ music, nursery rhymes with different rhythmic components and popular music from around the world to instill a love of “all things” musical in our children. Mia graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Professional Music.
Miss Sophia’s interest in movement began with her own early experiences with dance at the age of three. Her energetic classes and simple routines are designed to spark imagination and develop self-awareness as children learn to connect with their bodies. In addition to being our school’s movement teacher, Miss Sophia also serves as the school nurse as she also holds a BS degree in nursing.
Chess at Three gets children playing and loving chess through storytelling, even at the surprising age of 3! Each chess piece has their own quirky qualities and story that help explain why the piece moves the way it does and our BCPS children love it!