Green Bean Preschool (161 Greenpoint Ave.) has started a new chapter. After opening in 2011 as a daycare center, the location has changed the name to Green Bean Preschool, better describing what they have to offer Greenpoint children. Director and teacher, Monica Madalinski, said, “We are just changing the name to preschool as our hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and thus it better describes our program. The small class sizes, bilingual curriculum, ethos and teachers all remain the same.”
Green Bean Preschool offers compact class sizes with 12 children and 3 teachers. Madalinksi explains that the small size allows the school to provide an intimate, caring, and nurturing environment.
The curriculum at Green Bean Preschool is designed to expose children to both the French and English languages at a young age, learning through songs, stories, art, nature, games and other interactive activities. One of the teachers is a native French speaker, while the other two teachers are English speakers. About half of the children come from French speaking homes and half come from English speaking backgrounds. Green Bean Preschool also uses the bilingual structure as a platform to spark curiosity and give children the tools to understand how to learn in a school setting.
In addition to bilingualism, Green Bean Preschool teaches about the importance of sustainability. Madalinski said, “One of the main reasons that I opened the school in 2011 was to provide families with a child care program that offered high quality, organic food. This is a big part of who we are. We grow a lot of fruits and veggies in our garden and the children are able to experience that and take part in it.”
To achieve this goal, Green Bean Preschool uses environmentally friendly-chemical free cleaners, and serves 4 organic meals daily. Some of the school’s sustainability efforts include composting food waste, recycling for arts and crafts, using eco-friendly, biodegradable and non toxic cleaners, and limiting the use of plastics. The preschool’s location also boasts a large garden where the children can roam freely and discover the magic of nature.
In addition to bilingualism and sustainability, Green Bean Preschool also values art. Arts and crafts are done daily. Children are encouraged to be hands on and to explore their creative instincts. For young children, having the opportunities to express themselves through art and creative outlets leads to better social skills, emotional regulation, independent thinking, and seeing the world from different perspectives. Art also helps with development of both gross and fine motor skill. Plus, Green Bean offers weekly yoga sessions, live music singalongs and creative movement offered by local artists.
Green Bean Preschool is designed for children ages 1 and a half to 4 years old. Children must be at least 20 months old upon enrollment. Greenpointers are encouraged to attend a tour of the preschool to see the space, learn more about the curriculum and apply in person. Digital applications are available but a tour is necessary at some point after applying.
Green Bean Preschool recently developed a website after operating for 10 years by word of mouth. Learn more about Green Bean Preschool here.