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Ferkauf Graduate School Launches Pre-school Program for Young Children

A free pre-school program for youngsters aged 3-5 where child development specialists will teach reading, learning and writing skills, has been started at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Twelve doctoral students in the school’s psychology unit staff the program under the direction of Dr. Lillian Zach and Dr. Paul Jacobs, associate professors of education and psychology at Ferkauf. The program, in which 20 youngsters are currently enrolled, was made possible by a National Institute of Mental Health grant to the psychology department. Dr. Zach said that the school is a pilot project for Ferkauf and hopes that its success will enable the University to retain it as an ongoing program. The major objectives of the school are to bring together children of widely varied economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds–Jewish and non-Jewish–from the neighborhood of the school. Dr. Zach termed this venture a unique type of school where school psychologists rather than teachers help the young children acquire skills and training. He emphasized that the program is particularly interested in extending its contacts to minority group families in the community who are seeking some pre-school experience for their children. While the program serves the children of the community, it also provides the graduate students on its staff with a first-hand “experience in learning and development to complement their classroom studies,” said Dr. Zach.

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