There were rosy cheeks and grinning faces all round as the pupils of Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool got to experience the best of winter, with two ski outings to Camp Fortune.
One of the happy little skiers was Kayla Scher, two-and-a-half, daughter of Odelia and Tal Scher.
A ski outing for preschoolers is very different from a trip to a museum or other indoor activity, and the Schers were delighted that their daughter got to participate.
“My husband and I were really pleasantly surprised about the ski trip,” said Odelia. “It was really, really, nice. My daughter is very athletic and this something very different. She also takes ice skating lessons, because in the winter, we want her to engage in winter sports. I was very pleased they weren’t cooped up, and were embracing winter. She was so excited when she came home.”
Kayla began attending Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool in February, and “it has been wonderful,” said her mother. Kayla was a very active child and her parents knew she’d benefit from a stimulating program. “She was so happy to be in a different environment, with friends. The structure is incredible. I couldn’t be happier.”
Another youngster learning to ski was Juliette Segal, who is almost four. After the ski trip, she told her mother, Lila, she “loved going really fast,” and she said she wanted to go skiing again before spring.
Lila and Charles Segal are the parents of Juliette and her brother Oliver, 15 months.
The Segal family grew up in Ottawa and lived in Toronto for about five years, before moving back to Ottawa last summer. Juliette attended the school’s summer camp program and then started at the Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool last September.
“It’s really nice to come back and put my daughter in a school with people I really trust,” said Lila. “It really felt as if I were coming home. I’m so happy I can send her there.”
All the staff at Chabad-affiliated Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool on Switzer Avenue are qualified teachers.
“Not only do our students learn science, geography, botany, math, Hebrew, French and bake challah on Fridays,” said school director Devora Caytak, “we take them on field trips that build their self-confidence and self-esteem.”
The outing to Camp Fortune was just one of many field trips, she said, and each child had their own preschool instructor or two to a teacher. “They went out of their comfort zone, but had the accomplishment that they did it, they went skiing!”
The school went skiing twice, March 3 and March 7, and their lessons lasted an hour.
“The first time was cold, minus 15, but it warmed up on the hill. The second time, it was a little cloudy but warmer. We had a fabulous time.”
She described it as “a beautiful outing for our preschoolers, where they learned a new skill, and proved to themselves that they did not have to be afraid. They had the self-confidence to go up the magic carpet and then down the hill!”
“The school is amazing for her,” said Lila about her daughter. “She has developed from a toddler into a little girl. She has blossomed and the school has brought out her good spirit and nurtured her creative side. We were at her dance class and she saw someone with a dog with a broken leg. She said ‘when we get home, I want to give tzedakah for the dog.’ She learned about tzedakah at school.”
For more information on Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool, visit www.westborojewishmontessoripreschool.org or call Devora Caytak at 613-729-7712.