“The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K” by Shael Polakow-Suransky and Nancy Nager

With universal pre-K coming to New York City next year, two educators responsible for training 4,000 of the city’s pre-K teachers penned a New York Times op-ed on the importance of play.

In it, they outline what’s already a core part of Hilltop’s philosophy:

We do not need to pick between play and academic rigor.

While grown-ups recognize that pretending helps children find their way into the world, many adults think of play as separate from formal learning. The reality is quite different. As they play, children develop vital cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional skills. They make discoveries, build knowledge, experiment with literacy and math and learn to self-regulate and interact with others in socially appropriate ways. Play is also fun and interesting, which makes school a place where children look forward to spending their time. It is so deeply formative for children that it must be at the core of our early childhood curriculum.

The article is worth a read for its wonderfully descriptive, detailed and — especially from a Hilltopper’s point-of-view — familiar answer to the question, “What does purposeful play look like?”

For the full story, click here.

A story about the qualities of a good preschool programs in the New York Times