SCC Caters to Midwood’s Young and Old - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, September 28, 2023

SCC Caters to Midwood’s Young and Old

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SCC students using iPads to enhance their learning experience.
SCC students using iPads to enhance their learning experience.
Brooklyn’s very own Sephardic Community Center, (SCC), is located on Ocean Parkway and Avenue S in Gravesend. Positioned in a striking building completely made out of Jerusalem stone, it is arguably the metropolis of South Brooklyn’s Sephardic Community.

The SCC’s stated mission is to preserve the rich history and culture of the Sephardic Community, and to take care of its members from the youngest children through senior citizens.

With its ever-widening program of educational, athletic and social services, the Center offers a little something for everyone, including a gym, pool and spa, a preschool center, large social gathering spaces and a performance space.

The pre-school program started out with 13 children when the Center first opened its doors in 1982. Today, it serves over 200 families!

The Jewish Voice recently sat down to speak with Early Childhood Director, Regie Arakanchi, and Early Childhood Administrator, Aimee Mishaan, to talk about the school, its programs and more.

JV: Tell our readers a little bit about your famous preschool program?

Regie: We are the community’s #1 favorite pre-school program. Our pre-school is licensed by the Dept. of Health and our teachers are all early childhood professionals with advanced college degrees. They implement age appropriate activities in reading readiness, both in Hebrew and English, math and science. When the children leave here, they are prepared for their entry into the formal Yeshiva or school of their choice, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.

Aimee: If you have a 2, 3 or 4 year old, this is the ideal place for their first school experience. We offer specialties such as a wonderful music program that incorporates both Hebrew and English, there’s gym two times a week with a specialty instructor, and swimming for our 3 and 4 year olds, plus so much more.

JV: Any after school programs?

Aimee: We offer week-day after school programs such as Hip-hop, Ultimate Sports and gymnastics to our currently enrolled students. Our Friday classes are open to children from other community schools and offer Martial Arts, Circus Arts, Baking, Bouncy Fun, Baking, and Arts and Crafts.

JV: Do you encourage the pre-school parents to get involved?

Regie: We encourage all parents to be involved in their children’s first school experience. We send out weekly newsletters and invite them for Shabbat celebrations. Since September we had a Family PJ Party, as well as a Father-child breakfast and a Mother-child Hanukkah workshop. We are planning a Grandparents day for the spring.

Aimee: Regie and I focus on the preschool but we always say the Center serves people from a year old to 90+ years old. In addition to the Centers multitude of sports and recreations offerings, we have Alzheimer’s support groups, women’s support groups, monthly Book Clubs, a Culinary School and Israeli Folk Dance for women, plus so much more.

JV: What activities or special events does the Center include to instill the Sephardic community’s legacy and culture in your students?

Regie: Oneg Shabbat and holiday celebrations are an integral part of our nursery curriculum. Hebrew is used daily with simple classroom directions to the children.

JV: What is the key to the SCC longstanding success and recognition within the community?

Regie: I think it makes a difference that all of our teachers are certified and come from higher education backgrounds. They are nurturing, and dedicated with many years of experience Also, we offer a developmental “whole-child” approach that uses age appropriate activities for different age groups. We offer a real community feel, with small classrooms, individual attention and lots of warmth.

Aimee: Education wise, we’re dedicated to our students and we’re always focused on raising the bar. Just this year we enhanced our Hebrew curriculum by hiring Lisa Shrem, a former Hebrew principal, who’s currently integrating Hebrew and technology into our curriculum. Lisa is in charge of our new Media Center.

Editor’s Note: The building’s brand new Pre-school Media Center was established this year, and uses a hefty supply of iPads, laptops and a listening center to enhance the literacy and reading skills the children are already taught in the classroom in both English and Hebrew.

JV: Describe some of the positive outcomes as a result of the buildings expansion.

Aimee: We have expanded child friendly classrooms, bathrooms in every classroom now, plus a beautiful new playground on the roof for recess. When we’re done with the interview I’ll show you around, it’s really unbelievable.

Regie: We would like to invite all parents to come visit and see our program in action. We have an open door policy and you don’t need a special appointment.

JV: The SCC is known for doing a tremendous job with children who receive early intervention services. Tell us about that.

Regie: Yes we are very welcoming to children who receive services. Our teachers work closely with the children’s assigned therapists to see that all their needs are met.

JV: Thank you so much for taking the time out to sit down with us for this interview, you both have been so friendly and informative. You also really seem to love what you do, and it shows. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about your job?

Regie: I started the program 30 years ago, and Aimee’s been here over 15 years… Over the years our Center has really become the center of everybody’s life. We have a lot of people coming back; parents who were nursery students here are now bringing their own children to the nursery so it’s “dor-l’-dor” operation, as they say in Hebrew, generation to generation.

Aimee: To see the parents bringing in their own second, third and fourth child is a beautiful continuation of our legacy. I also love seeing how happy the kids are when they come here. I’ve had many mothers tell me that when their children are to begin their formal education they wish they could continue here at the Center instead of moving on.

Editors note: Registration is now open for the 2012-14 school year. If you would like a tour of the facilities or would like to enroll your child please call Regie @718-954-3156 or Aimee @718-954-3157.

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