“We wanted to be in Bedford for a while but there was no space available,’’ said Ann Hirsch, a Goldens Bridge resident and 17-year veteran at Landmark. “We jumped at this chance. It’s exactly where we wanted to be. It’s close to the fire department, the library and the post office. It gives us great community access."
The Bedford preschool will be located at 44 Village Green, in the heart of Bedford, in a renovated wing of the Bedford Presbyterian Church. The preschoolwill be the first in New York for Landmark, which also has locations in Ridgefield, Redding and Westport in Connecticut. The preschool is also affiliated with Ridgefield Academy.
“We wanted a space that was in close proximity to our Ridgefield campus,’’ Hirsch said. “That way they can continue their independent school experience and have busing. It was also important to be in an area where people might be receptive to the programs that we run.”
Hirsch said two preschools existed for nearly 30 years in the building. Both of them closed over the past two years though, and Landmark agreed to to move into the space last September.
“When we heard the second preschool was closing, it reconfigured our thinking about moving in here,’’ Hirsch said. “It allowed us to get two rooms on the lower level and one the upper level.”
The school poured significant resources into renovating the space, including painting, remodeling and adding electrical availability for Smartboards. Interactive and technology-based learning will be one of the main components that distinguishes Landmark from other preschools.
“We’re the only preschool in Connecticut that uses Smartboards,’’ Hirsch said. “Some elementary schools do, but not preschools. It helps make the themes we study come alive."
While Landmark embraces teaching technology to young students, it also offers more traditional educational objectives. “We have a lot of activities,’’ Hirsch said. “Letter sound awareness, writing and a comprehensive handwriting program. It’s developmentally appropriate, but it challenges them, too.”
Students ages 2-5 are eligible to enroll at Landmark. Unlike its schools in Connecticut, the students in Bedford will have half-day programs. “We’ll give the students the meaty part of our curriculum,’’ Hirsch said. “That will be a big challenge.”
Hirsch said Landmark’s teachers also make it a popular choice for parents. Many of them have multiple years of experience, and the school invests in their professional development.
“The families I’ve known have appreciated the quality and thoroughness of the program,’’ Hirsch said. “The students are very well-rounded. We work on developing the whole child so that they’re the best little person they can be. We want them to become confident and willing to take risks so that they are invested in their learning. We meet each child wherever they are.”
Landmark Preschool is offering some programs to introduce the school to the community. For more information, visit www.landmarkpreschool.org or the Landmark Bedford Facebook page.
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