The Riggs Blog

Austen Riggs Nursery School Receives Grant to Expand Curriculum

Austen Riggs Nursery SchoolNow in the second year of its latest and reimagined form, the Austen Riggs Nursery School continues to be a lively, vibrant space for preschoolers to learn, explore and grow, developing a strong foundation that will carry them into kindergarten. Likewise, it is a space where patients at the Austen Riggs Center work as interns and aides, experiencing childhood through the lens of the nearly three year-old to six year-olds who attend the Nursery School. 

This school year has seen the return of familiar faces and the addition of new faces. As the Nursery School continues to evolve and grow, so does the curriculum and the opportunity for additive elements. One such element has come in the form of a grant recently awarded to the Nursery School by Verizon Communications to purchase pre-K materials from the Handwriting Without Tears program. 

According to their website, “Millions of students all over the world use Handwriting Without Tears. Our easy-to-teach, easy-to-learn curriculum makes handwriting mastery joyful for students and their teachers.” 

In the truly collaborative spirit with which the Nursery School engages children and their parents, it was a parent of one of the children who recommended applying for the grant and helped with the application process. Once the grant was awarded to the Austen Riggs Nursery School, the materials were purchased and the implementation will begin soon.

The Austen Riggs Nursery School curriculum provides a strong foundation that combines physical and social development with language, literacy and problem-solving skill building. Nursery School Director, Ilana Ackerman, MSW, stated “The addition of the Handwriting Without Tears program will enhance the existing curriculum and add an important focus on the development of school readiness skills.”

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