Welcome letter

Our Mission:

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and infused with Jewish values and traditions, the Children’s Garden Center mission is to provide an arts focused, developmentally-appropriate learning experience to guide each child in discovering interests and learning style. For us, it’s not just about preparing them for the next stage in their educational journey—it’s about providing a meaningful learning experience during these formative years. A child’s work is play!

Every day we strive to:

• Empower creativity
• Act with intention for positive impact.
• Share Jewish values and traditions Foster a growth mindset and cultivate a joyful and caring community.

This is our work and our passion at Children’s Garden Center!


Each child learns in a unique way and has a great deal of knowledge and talent to share with the world. The Reggio-inspired approach is based on the belief that children deserve early childhood experiences that develop their multifaceted potential and increase their love of learning. Mutual respect between teachers, children, and families are hallmarks of our inspired approach to early childhood education and development!

Reggio Emilia is an approach to education based on a system of values and principles:

• Image of the child as a competent life-long learner
• Relationships and interactions as the basis of learning
• The warmth of the school environment as essential for fostering encounters, communication, and relationships
• Families as co-responsible partners
• Teachers as researchers and partners in learning
• Curriculum as a process of inviting and sustaining learning
• Documentation as helping to determine the direction in which the work will proceed, paying close attention to individual learning styles and intelligences.
• The use of a wide range of high-quality materials as an integral part of the cognitive and expressive process of learning.
• Project work as a reflection of the belief in revisiting and sustaining experiences.

The Arts across the curriculum is highly regarded and part of daily learning centers and activities at Children’s Garden Center. Exploring the hundred expressive languages Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Approach, describes the “infinite ways that children can express, explore, and connect their thoughts, feelings and imaginings. “The “Hundred Languages” is a key principle in the Reggio approach. It refers to communication and emphasizes the importance of providing a multitude of ways for children to express themselves. Through the Reggio approach, children become increasingly comfortable expressing themselves through various forms of speaking, writing, acting, drawing, painting, singing, and dancing. Our outstanding arts program which includes fine arts, dance, music, yoga, and drama, as well as the inspiring materials and environment that we provide, offer a wellspring of opportunities for children to practice self-expression. We offer music, dance, and visual arts including a ‘Getting to know the Great Masters’ as part of our innovative curriculum.We look forward to finding the ‘muse’ in each of our students.

We look forward to the opportunity to teach your child. We strive for the Children’s Garden Center experience to be one where childhood is a journey and never a race! Welcome!

Our Director, Melissa McHugh, of Children’s Garden Center, holds a Master’s degree from Lesley University in Early Childhood Education, with additional credentials in creative arts in learning and special education. Her Bachelor’s degree is in English and Theater Performance, and she has performed in many theater productions.

Melissa has been a teacher for twenty-eight years and has taught in both the New York City and Boston private school sectors prior to her tenure at Village Nursery School in Cornwall, where she served as the Educational Director for eight years. Melissa was raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and moved to Monroe, NY, fifteen years ago with her husband (also an educator) and their three children. In addition to her career in early childhood education, Melissa coached Girls on the Run for eight seasons, has served on numerous PTA boards, and is the active president of PAGE (Parents Advocating for Gifted Education). She is an advocate for children and cherishes their energy, curiosity, and wonder.

Please e-mail Melissa McHugh at cgcdirector@tba-ny.org with questions or to set up a tour.


Classroom options – Please select and initial your desired options. All fees are for the 10-month 2024-2025 school year.

check selection Days per week Hours per day Tuition
3 days per week: Wed/Thurs/Fri 9:15 am - 12:15 pm $8,750
3 days per week: Wed/Thurs/Fri 9:15 am - 3:00 pm $12,900
5 days per week 9:15 am - 12:15 pm $11,000
5 days per week 9:15 am - 3:00 pm $18,000
check selection Days per week Hours per day Tuition
5 days per week 9:00 am - 12:00 pm $11,000
5 days per week 9:00 am - 3:00 pm $18,000
check selection Days per week Hours per day Tuition
5 days per week 9:00 am - 3:00 pm $18,000

**Our extended day options will be available depending on interest.**

check selection Options - Monday through Thursday only Hours per day Tuition
Early drop off (M-F) 8:00 - 9:00 am $2,675
Late stay (M-TH only) 3:00 - 5:00 pm $5,425

CGC Calendar 2024-2025

CGC * 2024-2025 Calendar
September 2024
Monday, Sept. 9 and Tuesday, Sept. 10 Meet and Greets
Wednesday, Sept. 11 First Day of School
Thursday, Sept. 19 Back to School Night 6:00pm
October 2024
Thursday, Oct. 3 & Friday, Oct. 4 CGC Closed: Rosh Hashanah
Monday, Oct. 14 CGC Closed: Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Thursday, Oct. 17 CGC Closed: Sukkot 1
Friday, Oct. 25 CGC Closed: Simchat Torah
November 2024
TBD CGC Picture Day
Monday, Nov. 11 CGC Closed: Veterans’ Day Observed
Thursday, Nov. 28 & Friday, Nov. 29 CGC Closed: Thanksgiving Recess
December 2023
Monday, Dec. 23-Friday, Dec. 31 CGC Closed: Winter Break
January 2025
Monday, Jan. 1-Friday, Jan. 3 CGC Closed: Winter Break
Monday, Jan. 20 CGC Closed: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 2025
Monday, Feb. 17 CGC Closed: President’s Weekend
March 2025
Friday, March 14 CGC Purim Parade
April 2025
Monday, Apr. 14-Monday, Apr. 21 CGC Closed: Passover/Spring Break
Wednesday, Apr. 30 CGC Art Show and Auction
May 2025
Thursday, May 1-Sunday, May 4 CGC Art Show and Auction
Friday, May 9 CGC Mothers’ Day Tea
June 2025
Friday, June 2 CGC Closed: Shavuot
Tuesday, June 24 Last day of School: 2’s and 3’s class/Ice Cream Party
Wednesday, June 25 CGC Pre K-Graduation & Ice Cream Party 11AM
For more information contact Melissa McHugh  CGCdirector@tba-ny.org

The Ian and Emily Cohen Children's Garden Center

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

~Albert Einstein

Dear Family,

Thank you for your interest in the Children’s Garden Center (CGC) at Temple Beth Abraham. We know that there are many options out there for your child’s first school experience and we are excited for you and your child to explore our ‘school family’.

Children are natural explorers and play is their work as they seek out new knowledge while making brilliant discoveries. In a creative, stimulating atmosphere, children will become aware of the exciting world around them. If they are given a chance to learn through their own experience, these discoveries have real meaning for them.

Our experienced teachers arrive eager each day, ready to work with the children to co-construct curriculum that sparks a sense of wonder and creativity in each of them. We are Reggio-inspired and we believe in active learning and understand that play is ‘the highest form of research’. Thishands-on, experiential learning enables our children to develop new skills, enhance their strengths, and work on their individual goals in a comfortable and safe environment that is familiar to them.

Our hope is for our students to foster a love of schoo before they embark on their journeys as confident, life-long learners.

Please explore our program offerings and be in touch should you have any questions. We look forward to getting to know your family.

With Gratitude;

Melissa McHugh, M.E.D

Educational Director,

Children’s Garden Center

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