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Tree of Life Learning Center

1800 Holbrook Drive
Danville, CA 94506

(925) 736-1363


Tree of Life Learning Center is committed to providing an outstanding early childhood education program that promotes cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led

From the Director:

We are a private, family owned, developmentally based Jewish preschool located in Danville, California. We are a year round school with the exception of major holidays as well as spring & winter break. Full-time and part-time schedules are available. Tree of Life seeks to accept preschool children ranging in ages from two to five within the limits of our facility, regardless of race, gender or religious background. We are licensed for sixty children and strive to keep a nine to one student-teacher ratio. We welcome and celebrate children from all religions and background and work with our families to ensure that all family traditions are respected and valued. Prior to admission, parents are given a tour of the school and information regarding our program, policies and philosophy. This time also gives parents an opportunity to meet our teachers and discuss the individual needs of their child.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught At Tree of Life Learning Center we have created a curriculum to ensure all children are prepared for Kindergarten. This program includes: reading readiness -- letter recognition and introduction to writing, math concepts, science exploration, computer skills, music and art. Our two and three year old children begin to explore the curriculum concepts through art, music and books in a more relaxed atmosphere. As they grow and develop, we provide a Pre-K program that offers a more kindergarten like classroom environment. The children are seated at tables to help better prepare them for kindergarten and learn letter and sound recognition as well as numbers and shapes. In addition to a spectacular academic program, our school provides an environment where children can grow individually and spiritually. This program is based upon the Jewish values mitzvot (good deeds) and tzedakah (charity). Our program includes: Friday morning Challah baking, Shabbat celebration, Tzedakah box in every room, annual mitzvah projects, classroom mitzvah trees with leaves for each child to document their good deeds at home and at school and lots of books and crafts! During the High Holidays, when we are dipping apples in honey, you may see our children learning a science lesson about how bees make honey. In December, as we kindle the lights of Hanukkah, you may see local fire fighters teaching our children the importance of fire safety. At Tree of Life Learning Center, above all else, our goal is to help our children love to learn!

From the Director:

We understand that children need to have free, unstructured time to explore their surroundings, create on their own, and express themselves as individuals. In allowing children to do so, we are able to observe the children’s natural curiosities and listen to their thoughts and ideas. It is then possible for us, as teachers, to incorporate an emergent curriculum where we create projects and activities that reflect those interests. In addition to having free, unstructured time, our teachers offer the children an opportunity to participate in more organized activities. Children learn to sit and listen to a story during reading time. They learn to follow directions during a cooking lesson and they learn to wait for their turn to play the drum during music time. Having both structured and unstructured times throughout the day will help the children become more confident and well rounded. We believe that fostering children’s independence will help build their confidence and boost their self-esteem. To help promote this, we have set up an environment that allows the children to have access to the materials they want without requiring the help of a teacher. In addition, we allow children to be a part of the “whole process” when it comes to things that affect them. For example: snack time is not simply a time to eat. There is a whole process in which the children have opportunities to participate in. They begin by preparing the food, then serving themselves, blessing the food, eating together as a group and finally cleaning up their area. Not only does this promote independence and introduce responsibility, but they are also learning a variety of new skills, which promote cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development. Furthermore, we give the children choices about how to handle situations that may arise. We allow the children to problem solve and take responsibility for the decisions they make. This empowers them and shows them that their feelings and thoughts are important and valued. We believe that incorporating these elements into our program makes for a well-balanced preschool experience for all our children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our goal is to create an environment where all children feel safe and comfortable; a place where play and learning become one. We are a developmental preschool that recognizes the importance of learning through play, as well as through teacher directed activities. We are also a Jewish-based preschool where our children will learn to explore Jewish culture and values such as mitzvot (good deeds) and tzedakah (charity). These values are introduced through music, books, art and science and are intertwined into our daily activities.

A Typical Day


7:00 - School Opens
Free Choice playtime

8:00 - Morning Craft
Teacher organized craft

8:45 - Preschool starts (opening circle)
Welcome, stretch/yoga, calendar, introduce learning centers

9:15 - Learning Centers
Teacher directed lessons in language, art, math, science and/or writing. Children get into small groups during this time.

10:00 - Snack Time
Healthy snacks are provided by the school.

10:30 - Outside Play
Bikes, balls, play structures and more help our students get strong and stay healthy.

11:00 - Free Play
Child directed activities and free choice of computer, dress up, clocks, art, reading, etc.

11:30 - Circle Time
Songs and sharing

12:00 - Lunch Time!
Children enjoy healthy lunches brought from home.

1:00 – Naptime/Rest-time
Children hear a story then listen to calming music as they rest or sleep.

3:00 - Snack Time
Children enjoy healthy snacks provided by school.

3:30 - Afternoon Activities
Teacher directed play and learning. Children get into small groups during this time.

4:15 - Outside Play
Children work on developing large motor skills and having fun!

5:00 - Closing Circle
Songs, Stories, and goodbyes

5:30 - Free Time
Children choose activities such as art, dress up, building, reading and imaginative play.

6:00 - School Closes

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We make every effort to help parents stay connected with the daily happenings of the school. Through daily log sheets for 2 year olds, weekly class blogs, monthly school newsletters and parent-teacher conference, we ensure parents are informed and connected!

At Tree of Life, we strive to build a strong connection between the home, the school and the community. Throughout the year, there are many opportunities for the coming together of families as we celebrate a variety of holidays and events such as: Tot Shabbat, The Annual Art Auction/Spaghetti Dinner, Purim Parade, Hanukkah Celebration, etc. Your involvement is strictly voluntary. We feel parents’ involvement is key to the children’s success.

We welcome you to get involved in your child’s classroom by scheduling a time to read a story, help with Challah baking, play an instrument or assist in teaching an art or cooking project. We look forward to building a close knit relationship and sharing together in the learning and teaching experience.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions

Handling Separation: From the Director

We understand that each child separates differently from his or her parent(s). Our goal, at Tree of Life, is to help the child's transition into preschool be as smooth and stress-free as possible; they may bring a favorite comfort item, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, to school with them.

It is important for us that you, as the parent, know that you are able to communicate with us as to what is most comfortable for the child. If you need to stay for a little while, that is fine. If you need to rush out the door, we will be there to comfort your child in saying good-bye and transitioning them into working on a project, reading a book or simply sitting with us as they adjust themselves to the new environment.