The Austen Riggs Nursery School
Founded in 1955 by Joan Erikson (an educator and wife of Erik Erikson), the Austen Riggs Nursery School is located on the grounds of the Austen Riggs Center and is one component of its Activities Program. The nursery school fosters important early learning concepts and positive attitudes towards learning for children ages 2.9 years old to kindergarten.
Children at the Austen Riggs Nursery School are encouraged to explore, investigate and fulfill their natural curiosity about the world around them. Under the careful guidance of the director, teachers and teacher’s aides, children develop at their own pace and learn that school can be an unending adventure – one that cultivates a lifetime of discovery. The staff take the time to learn each child’s strengths and weaknesses, interests and personalities, and use that knowledge to enrich the curriculum and provide alternate avenues for accomplishment and success.
All children will be given the opportunity to participate in a wide range of experiences that encourage growth.
At the Austen Riggs Nursery School there is a commitment to a comprehensive program, which includes both core curriculum work in areas such as: practical life, sensorial, language arts, mathematics and cultural studies, and also instruction in: foreign language, science, music, arts and physical education/movement. Additionally, there are yoga classes during the week and Riggs Activities staff provide ceramics, woodworking, fiber arts and visual arts classes. Children also visit the nearby greenhouse a few times each year.
Through a set of thematic explorations, the Austen Riggs Nursery School offers an in-depth, integrated curriculum with a goal of helping children acquire academic skills as well as:
- Love of learning and creativity
- Core values of responsibility and respect
- Self-confidence and self–esteem
- Problem solving and critical thinking skills
The Austen Riggs Nursery School offers children the opportunity to learn and grow together. For information about enrollment, contact Director Ilana Ackerman, MSW, at  931.5288.
Read more about the Austen Riggs Nursery School on the Riggs Blog: