Photos: Meir Pliskin
Founded on the concept from Basi Legani of creating a dwelling place for Hashem, Gan Academy was established by community parents for community children.
Looking for a more individualized educational model for their children, a group of young families began building a school. What started as a preschool, is now blossoming into an elementary school with separate boys’ and girls’ divisions.
Based in the heart of Crown Heights, Gan Academy offers students a high level of education in both kodesh and chol. Their small classes enable an individualized educational setting and meaningful engagement opportunities. The focus of their education is to give each student the tools they need to learn and succeed, have a deep understanding of torah, tefillah and chassidus and to create a strong foundation for ahavas and yiras Hashem. All the Judaic studies are taught based on the directives of the Rebbe, and academic goals are maintained by following the standards developed by the Menachem Education Foundation. The chol curriculum is based on the scope and sequence as mandated by the New York State Department of Education.
Outside of textbook education, Gan Academy focuses attention on teaching children from as young as the age of two, to have good middos and strong interpersonal skills. Students are taught to value themselves, their peers and their teachers through thematic units, and arts such as sports and music. These programs teach children to understand and value themselves as individuals, and the importance of others. The rules of the school are to be kind and to be respectful. This encompasses all middos both “bein adam l’chaveiro” and “bein adam l’makom”. The school also runs a school-wide anti bullying program with precautions in place as recommended by DASA.
“Focusing on Educating the Whole Child, as a Unique and Limitless Individual.”
Gan Academy places a significant focus on social-emotional development appropriate by age, in order to promote higher order thinking skills and cognitive development. Their support staff work both in the classroom and one on one with students to promote healthy peer interactions, communication and reflective practice school wide.
Under the leadership of the Director, Mrs. Esther Betesh, Gan Academy is run with a menahel for the boy’s division, a principal for the girl’s division, a literacy specialist, and experts for specific areas of education. The teachers receive weekly training from the Director whose expertise and experience is in child development and education. Each classroom staff meets weekly with the Director to discuss progress of the individual children and classroom goals.
As you walk through the halls of Gan Academy, you get a feel for the chayus for yiddishkeit being instilled in the children. With programs like ‘I davened like a chossid’ reward cards and the ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ tree. The school is infused with learning opportunities that sets its students up for long term success. The teachers and Rebbi’s greet each child with a smile and warmth. In the elementary class, the students daven with meaning and learn with passion; their joy for learning is palatable.
In addition to building a school, Gan Academy fosters a community for families. There are annual events for families including Chanukah and Purim parties, and schoolwide programs that are inclusive of the home. Recently, the school celebrated yud tes kislev with special programming and farbrengen in school, and also sent home a ‘farbrengen in a bag’ fully equipped with a story, a dvar torah, pada b’shalom, tzedakah, a mezonos and a l’chaim. This creates continuity and enables the children to share and practice what they learned in school at home.
Do you have a child aged two to third grade? Come to the open house and find out more about what Gan Academy has to offer. See the curriculums, understand the methodology, and hear from the Director.
Registration for Gan Academy Open House is now open.
To reserve your spot please visit www.ganacademy.com