When Molly and Bunky Wright first visited the APJCC Preschool, they were impressed but worried it would be too costly for their family. Their two boys, Declan and Kellen, attended a daycare center in Campbell but the family wanted a better quality program for them.
The family had attended an open house at the APJCC Preschool and Molly, a language arts teacher, had noted the professionalism of the teachers and staff. She also liked the feeling of community and how the APJCC Preschool encouraged parent involvement.
“We were excited to learn at the open house about parents coming in to read to the pre-K children and (about) the Grandpals Shabbat program,” Molly says. “And, as a teacher myself, I was very impressed that for such young children there would be two parent-teacher conferences every year. You don’t normally see that.”
Bunky adds, “APJCC Preschool teachers view parents as their partners, whether it is parents coming in to talk with the children about their work lives or serving as challah helpers.”
But Bunky had recently gone back to school full-time, and the Wrights were living solely on Molly’s salary as a public school teacher. Would the APJCC Preschool be affordable?
Thanks to APJCC’s financial scholarship program, Cyndi Sherman, the APJCC Early Childhood Education Director, was able to secure a scholarship for the Wright boys.
The Wrights are not Jewish, but what ultimately attracted them to the APJCC Preschool was its roots in Jewish values—values of family, tzedakah (charity), kindness, and acceptance of all faiths. The several Jewish religious holidays happening in the fall, the difference between the secular and Hebrew calendars, and what they could and could not send with their children for lunch, were hurdles to be overcome, but well worth it for the value of the education and the care the boys receive.
In Molly’s and Bunky’s words, “We want to raise our children to be good human beings. To do that, we value their exposure to children of other backgrounds and beliefs. APJCC Preschool provides that exposure with a feeling of family for all. It is the feeling of family for all that in our eyes is the fabric of Judaism.”