""If you give children a warm, nurturing place to grow, you can slowly start to add structure, build attention spans and incorporate academics."
"The first years of a child's education are the most important." Angela Freeman founded The Milestone School on that premise in 1979.
The Milestone School is located in the heart of Fleetwood, and serves grades
pre-K through 4. Classes are ungraded and grouping is based on a pattern of growth rather than the school year. Freeman wants her students, "to experience the joy of learning." The school offers a program of enrichment, where children take Music and French, participate in dramatic and musical productions and even perform an evening of Shakespeare.
Freeman taught for many years at Westchester's first Montessori school, St. Joseph's in Mt. Vernon. Later, while earning her master's, she realized that she was "a little bit of a maverick," in her philosophy. Freeman believes in early reading and in phonics, "the way a child starts to read naturally," she says. "If you give children a warm, nurturing place to grow," she continues, "you can slowly start to add structure, build attention spans and incorporate academics. When children have an early foundation in reading, there is a natural continuity in moving into first grade."
The school, chartered by the New York Board of Regents, begins with the "Steppingstones" and "diaper friendly" classes for two year-olds. Extended days are available starting in three year-old classes.
Freeman is proud of her teaching staff and the school's rich curriculum. "We use the best of many methods," says Freeman, "to be in tune with the whole child. Children feel that they have roots here, " she says, adding, "First come roots, then wings." "
Excerpted from the preschool's website