Meet Our Staff At Jump Smart Early Learning Academy
Jump Smart Early Learning Academy opened its doors January 1996 and has been a pillar in the community for 19 years. Our teachers are experienced in the field of Early Childhood and each one brings their own unique talents to our program. Ms. Lourinza Ogden (affectionately known as Ms. Lo Lo) has been with our program for 10 years and is the nurturer of our Jump Smart Family. She generates love and the children respond to her positive energy through daily interactions She is a single parent of two adult children in which one of her sons is an alumni of Jump Smart Early Learning Academy.
Ms. Danielle is the youngest member of our team and has been a teacher with our program for 5 years. She has early childhood credits and plans to return to school in the near future to pursue a degree in Early Childhood. Ms. Danielle is our head teacher and has a unique talent of making learning fun for the children. They are eager to participate in learning new skills while having fun doing it.
Mr. Alvarez is our Spanish instructor and is the newest member of our Jump Smart Family; he is gentle with the children and is skilled in his approach to teaching them Spanish. Mr. Alvarez has many tools in his back pack to help children master Spanish lessons. Not only are the children engaged but Mr. Alvarez often loses track of time as he works his magic exposing the children to Spanish. Mr. Alvarez also works for the Chicago Park District and coaches children during the Special Olympics.
DeCarla Burton (affectionately known as Miss Dee) is the owner/director of Jump Smart Early Learning Academy and she holds a BA degree in Early Childhood Education, a Illinois Credential II and a Aims National Credential from National Louis University. Miss Dee has worked in the field for more than19 years. Her program is Accredited Star Level III and the proud recipient of the Kohl McCormick Teaching Award. Miss Dee understands how children grow and learn and takes pride when she shares that her children are well prepared for Kindergarten. Many of her students attend the top programs throughout the city and suburbs. According to Ms Dee ensuring children are prepared for their next milestone fosters the following ingredients; a hands-on environment that ignites the love of learning, experienced teachers that understand how children learn, and a strong partnership with parents to create the perfect balance for success.
Jump Smart Early Learning Academy uses the research based Creative Curriculum to ensure teachers know what, why and how to teach children effectively. By understanding the theory and research behind how children’s knowledge, skills and behaviors progress over time, teachers are better able to support children’s development and learning.
Connecting Learning to Nature
Our nature classroom is a space set aside for the development of natural habitats. Using these natural habitats, our children learn about science and the outdoors through hands-on experience. Learning about the earth is powerful, whether by helping to plant a tree, studying an insect, or preparing a garden for winter. Through these experiences, students become connected to the earth. That connection empowers them through a sense of achievement and wonder, which motivates them to want to learn more, thus building the foundation for respect for the world in which they live. Types of outdoor spaces we offer include:
• Peace & Relaxation Area
• Oriental Garden & Water Fountain
• Butterfly and Wildflower Gardens
• Agriculture Gardens
• Sensory Garden
• Bird and Squirrel Sanctuaries
• Composting and Recycling Areas
• Weather Stations
Research has found links between early experiences with the natural world and development of a child’s imagination, which is an important factor in a child’s healthy social and psychological development. Our goal is to nurture this development as children learn more about the world through direct interaction.
Creative Pre-school Yoga
Annually beginning in January we offer a wonderful tool used to promote the physical, emotional and social development of children. We begin our program by teaching yoga fundamentals such as; poses, breathing techniques and centering activities. These techniques are eventually blended with activities that promote educational objectives. The yoga routines and classes promote the following:
|• Grace and courtesy
• Sensorial exploration and movement
• Care of our environment, indoors/outdoors
• Refinement of the writing hand
• Artistic expression
• Self- Care
• Physical health