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• Movement Is Essential To Learning, page 2

• The Specialty Curriculum at IPS, page 3

• Meet Our New Teachers, page 4

                                                   THE NEWSLETTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRESCHOOLS • FALL 2010

                                                   Notes from Donna Cohen
                                                   I am proud to become part of The International
                                                   Preschools. Though I have only been here a few months,
                                                   IPS has already “opened a window on the world” for me
Welcome to Our                                     as I have gotten to know its faculty, staff and families.
New Director                                       I am also so impressed by the long tenure of so
This September begins a very exciting year         many faculty and staff members, and by the
for The International Preschools as we have        number of IPS employees that started out as par-
Donna Cohen as our new director. Donna             ents. IPS is clearly a very special place to inspire
was the director of Claremont Children’s           such dedication and loyalty. As one of the newest
School since its founding in 1999. Donna           members of this community, I have felt wel-
was the first director of Claremont, over-         comed and at home right from the start. It is
seeing its design and construction and             clear to me that a family just settling in New
developing it into the excellent school it is      York City from another country can come to IPS
today. Before joining Claremont, Donna             and feel just as embraced as I was, and will quick-
was the assistant director of the West End         ly start making friends!
                                                                                                          New IPS Director, Donna Cohen
Day School and, prior to that, was the direc-      For the first few weeks of school I have enjoyed
tor of the Arts and Recreation Center for          meeting our families at orientations and receptions. Greeting the youngest stu-
Children with Developmental Disabilities at        dents arriving for their very first day of school is a real privilege. The slightly
the 92nd Street Y. Donna received her              older returning students bound into school with unlimited energy and opti-
undergraduate education at Adelphi                 mism, which I find contagious! Though I have worked in early childhood pro-
University, her master’s degree in education       grams for many years, while observing classes at IPS I have seen such
from City College, and her master’s degree         wonderful new examples of learning through play and through hands-on expe-
in social work from Hunter College.                riences.
Donna started on July first and was busy           The coffee and tea meetings we had were fun and engaging. They helped me
getting to know the children and teachers          put names to faces and to begin to recognize which parents belong to which
who were at summer camp and getting to

                             Continued on page 7                                                                         Continued on page 7
Movement Is Essential to Learning
Movement integrates and anchors new                                    I found the children eager for
                                                                       more challenging poses and
information into our neural networks.                                  inventing some of their own.
Every time we move in an organized man-                                I was happy to oblige. As with
ner, full brain activation and integration                             all our movement classes,
                                                                       yoga is non-competitive and
occurs, and the door to learning opens.                                fun, offering numerous bene-
In movement classes we address motor development con-                  fits for young children: gross
                                                                                                         Movement Teacher Peggy Gallagher
cepts including body and spatial awareness, locomotor and              motor skill development;
non-locomotor skills. Exploring one or more of the following           increased strength, flexibility and balance; enhanced lan-
concepts is always practiced to some degree in each class.             guage development, social interaction and confidence; and
                                                                       opportunities for creativity and self-expression.
Levels - understanding the various levels in space in which
movement may occur.                                                    Preschoolers are fantastic yoginis. Their blossoming imagina-
                                                                       tions find yoga easy to understand. It feels good to be a tree,
Pathways - specific movement patterns and moving within
                                                                       a dog, a snake or a mouse. We move, we bend, and we stretch.
established patterns.
                                                                       We begin by flexing our spines in cat and cow, mooing and
Tempo - controlling the rate of movement with variations in            meowing enthusiastically. We learn to stretch into cobra,
speed/intensity.                                                       hissing all the while and finally end up balanced on our bot-
Directions - developing the ability to avoid others and re-ori-
ent their bodies.
Relationships - moving in relationship to others as well as to
objects in general space.
I am Miss Peggy, movement teacher to the children at IPS
and Pilates instructor to the staff. I have been teaching dance
technique and creative movement for over 25 years, the past
13 years at The International Preschools. My own training in
dance, yoga, anatomy, and in more recent years, Pilates, have
all been influential in presenting my movement lessons to
the children.
Approximately seven years ago I was given a book about                           Lizard lounging on a rock
Babar titled Yoga for Elephants and decided to incorporate
more yoga practice into my curriculum. Much to my surprise,

                                                                  A favorite
                                                                               exercise to
                                                                                           end   our yoga p
                                                                                                           ractice: Th
                                                                                                                      e laughing
        Twin Oak Trees
toms to sail our boats. Whether holding our legs up in lotus           more limber. Children low on endurance develop greater
flower pose or focusing as fierce warriors in archer pose, we          staying power.
are developing an overall sense of strength, flexibility and
                                                                       I know how hard it is to begin an exercise program as an
well being. The active yoga exercises are always followed by a
                                                                       adult. What I hope for these young bodies is a love of move-
deep relaxation, on our backs, arms and legs loose and
                                                                       ment and a lifetime of physical fitness and good health.
                                                                       Many children are learning to practice poses and do exercises
We also love our group circle for learning how to move                 they may have never tried before. When they can balance on
through the Sun dance. With practice our yoga sun dance                one leg, they feel good about themselves. And when practice
becomes a great cardiovascular exercise! It develops strength,         is over, they can take that strength, confidence and power
flexibility, alertness and coordination.                               with them. And that feels great!
Later, working with a partner to form the “double boat,”                                                            Peggy Gallagher
“twin oaks,” “gates” or “lizard lounging on a rock” we help                                                        Movement Teacher
each other increase stretches while learning to be attuned to
the movements and energies of another person.
Best of all, yoga works with any physical body to give it what
it needs. Children who are flexible but lack strength get
stronger. Children with strength but lacking flexibility get

The Specialty Curriculum at IPS
Imagine a world without music, dance, theatre, science and             For me, it is a privilege to work with such talented individu-
literature. Most of human culture would not exist because              als who share their gifts with your children. Each of them has
many ideas, feelings and sensations can only be expressed              been part of the IPS community for many years. Each year,
through the arts. For young children, singing, moving, danc-           they come back to us and with the same enthusiasm. As they
ing and exploring is all part of being a child. What better way        travel among all the preschool classes each week, they put the
to enhance these experiences than with our specialty teach-            same energy into the first class on Monday morning as they
ers who are experts in their field of discipline.                      do with the last class on Friday afternoon. That is only possi-
                                                                       ble due to their passion for what they do.
Not all of us can be a Vincent Van Gogh or Albert Einstein or
Isadora Duncan. However we can all learn what it feels like.           I hope this article by our movement teacher, Peggy Gallagher,
So for thirty minutes each week, all our preschool children            has captured our movement curriculum. Starting this month,
move with Miss Peggy, experiment with Ms. Karen, sing with             check the IPS website for monthly updates about what your
Mr. Doug and read with Miss Talcott. Through active experi-            children are doing with these extraordinary teachers. Who
ences they learn to appreciate and enjoy these disciplines as          knows, IPS might be helping to nurture the seeds of creativi-
well exploring their own interests in these areas.                     ty of the next major contributor to the world of the “arts”.
                                                                       You never know.
Supporting children’s learning in the “arts” is as important as
supporting their learning in other areas. These experiences                                                           Lynne Mueller
develop the self-discipline, creativity and confidence that will                                                   Education Director
help children succeed in school, work and life. In fact, study
after study shows students that engage in the arts are more
focused, score higher on exams, perform more community
service and watch less TV.

Meet Our New Teachers

Hello! I’m thrilled to become part of the IPS team. I will be           I am excited about my first year teaching at IPS! During the
working in the Red Room with the toddlers at 35th Street                past two years I worked at the British International School of
along with my lovely partners, Ms. Francesca and Ms. Riyo.              New York, teaching second grade and as an administrative
Originally from Yonkers, New York, I received my B.A. in art            assistant. Previously I was at the International School of
and art history at City College. At Hunter College, I earned            Amsterdam for eleven years, mostly teaching pre-K and pre-
an M.S. in early childhood education and focused my thesis              school. I am from Miami Beach but I attended Dana Hall
on peace education. I’ve held positions at e Spence School,             School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In Boston, I earned my
                              Avenue Preschool. I’ve also               bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Emerson
worked at international schools in Barcelona, London and                College. I then received a master’s degree in mass communi-
Tokyo. At these schools I taught pre-K and kindergarten and             cation research at the University of Leicester in England. I
was a literacy specialist and curriculum coordinator. I love            returned to Boston and earned a master’s degree in early
music, reading and learning about history and cultures. I               childhood education at Wheelock College.
think that IPS will be a fabulous place to work!
                                                                        Since I moved to New York only two years ago, I have been
                                                                        taking advantage of the wonderful foreign language films
                                                                        (because the subtitles are in English, not Dutch!) I enjoy try-
                                                                        ing new restaurants, wines and recipes, as some would call
Hi! I was born and raised in the Philippines. I graduated from
                                                                        me a foodie! I love to dance and have learned flamenco, tango
Rizal Technological University with a B.S. in business man-
                                                                        and swing. On Saturdays you might see me at Union Square
agement. I moved to New York eleven years ago and I have
                                                                        Market, and on a sunny day I like to listen to NPR while
worked with various families with young children for almost
                                                                        cycling along the rivers!
eight years. It was not until two years ago that I decided to go
back to school for my graduate education to specialize in
what I think is the best profession: teaching. I have never
been happier since I made the decision that changed my life. I
                                                                        Hi! I moved to New York City from Seattle, Washington six
recently completed an M.S. in early childhood education and
                                                                        years ago. I received a dual master’s in both general and spe-
early childhood special education at Touro College. In my
                                                                        cial education in early childhood from Touro College. Before
spare time, I love cooking, I enjoy going to the movies, read-
                                                                        working at IPS, I was an assistant teacher at a private school
ing and catching up with friends and family. I live in New
                                                                        for children with autism and then worked with two and three
York City with my husband and our dog, Biscuit. This year I
                                                                        year olds at Chelsea Day School as a head teacher. I will be
will be working with toddlers in the Yellow Room at West
                                                                        joining the IPS team working at the 45th street location as
76th Street. I am thrilled to be a part of the IPS team. I am
                                                                        head teacher in the Jade room. I am excited to join the IPS
excited and looking forward to a wonderful school year.
                                                                        family and look forward to a wonderful year ahead.

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and currently live in
                                                                        I am so excited to be teaching in the Blue Room at 45th
Glendale, Queens. I attended John Jay College of Criminal
                                                                        Street! I received my master’s in early childhood education
Justice and earned my B.A. in forensic psychology. At Hunter
                                                                        from Hunter College in June 2009. I worked at P.S. 183 in a
College I attained my master’s in general and special educa-
                                                                        first grade classroom and was a substitute teacher for two
tion. Currently, I am working on a post master’s in applied
                                                                        school districts on Long Island. I currently live in Suffolk
behavioral analysis in order to increase my knowledge in
                                                                        County with my two miniature pinschers. I am looking for-
behavior therapy. Before IPS I worked as a special education
                                                                        ward to a fun, educational year!
itinerant teacher and continue to provide early intervention
services to children with special needs after school. I look for-
ward to an exciting year in the Blue room at 35th Street.

Hi, I’m known as Ms. Deb. I’m delighted to join the IPS staff
this year. I first came to the school five years ago as a parent
of twin two-year old boys, Jake and Sam. My sons attended
the 76th Street Location for three years, blossoming under
the guidance of their wonderful teachers. But that was
then…. my kids are now second-graders at the Manhattan
School for Children, who often tell me how much they miss
the good ol’ days at IPS …when they didn’t have homework.         Seated: Jessica An
                                                                                     derson, Riyo Mina
                                                                 Standing: Tsherin                     ri, Citadelle Coqu
I spent the first half of my professional life working in the                       g Ohm, Alaina Le                       eran, Amanda We
                                                                 Goodman, Erin M                    avitt, Deborah M                       inberger
                                                                                   olloy                               atlovsky, Mischelle
film business. With children, my lifestyle has changed, and                                                                                 Garcia, Lisa
with it, my career goals. Having enjoyed working in children’s
programming, I decided to become a teacher. I substituted at
IPS for a bit before taking the plunge a few months ago,
choosing to join the IPS team and begin my graduate studies          Hello, the children will call me Ms. T and I will be in the Blue
in early childhood education.                                        Room at 45th Street. I come from Bhutan. I started at IPS
                                                                     last February and also worked during summer camp. I have a
I earned my M.F.A. from U.C.L.A. Graduate School of Film             B.A. in sociology and a lot of experience working with chil-
and Television and my B.A. from Brown University. I speak            dren. I have two sons of my own, aged four and twelve, and
some French and Italian, have a fetish for handbags and am a         worked in a school back home. I look forward to working
die-hard animal-lover.                                               with your children this year and I know it is going to be a
                                                                     great year!

Hi, I am from Japan. During my undergraduate years in
Japan, I studied east Asian cultures, especially, Chinese and        Hi, I grew up in New Rochelle and moved to New York City
Korean cultures and languages. I have lived in New York for          after graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in
three years and came to New York to study early childhood            communications. After working in the music and fashion
education at C.C.N.Y. I also worked at a Japanese school in          industries for 10 years, I decided to follow in my mother’s
Manhattan                                                            footsteps and become a teacher. I recently began work
I recently graduated from C.C.N.Y. with an M.S. I also have          towards my master’s degree in early childhood education at
experienced more than ten countries as a traveler, a volun-          Pace University. I am extremely excited to be working in the
teer and an intern. I am glad to have an opportunity to join         Yellow Room at the West 76th Street Location and am look-
the IPS team and am looking forward to working at 35th               ing forward to a great school year!
Street as an assistant teacher in the Red Room.

Faculty News
35th Street teacher Fernando Rodriguez married Melanie
Pypers on August 21, at e East Brunswick Hilton in New
Jersey                     ographs, including the one at
right, were taken by former IPS parent Ira Fox.
Wedding bells will soon ring for Meredith Brown, another
teacher at 35th Street! Meredith is engaged to be married to
Sam Glazer on April 2, 2011.

From the Parents’ Association President
I hope that your family’s school year is off to a wonderful      Pino Jiminez (35th), Ariane Qureshi (45th), Tehzeen
start. I would like to extend a special welcome to all of our    Vohmann (74th) and Marina Lansdown (76th). They are sup-
new families. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you during       ported by a great team of Vice Presidents and parent volun-
the New Parents’ Receptions in September and I look forward      teers and are wonderful resources for parents looking to
to getting to know you better over the course of the coming      learn more about PA activities.
year.                                                            Please save the date for our first school-wide fundraising
All parents at The International Preschools are members of       event, the Faculty Enrichment Benefit held on Friday,
the Parents’ Association. The PA has two goals: community        December 3. At this relaxed but festive event, we will honor
building among IPS families and fundraising to contribute to     faculty members who have reached service milestones, raise
the school’s short and long-term financial goals. Parent vol-    funds for our teachers’ continuing education and enjoy inter-
unteers plan, organize and execute several fundraisers and       national food and wine. Please join us for this special
fun events throughout the year. If you are interested in get-    evening.
ting involved, please join us at one of the monthly PA meet-     Capping off the school year will be the Spring Benefit on
ings or email Also, please look for     Friday, May 6th and the Family Picnic on Saturday, May 21.
volunteer requests in the weekly PA newsletter, which is dis-    For the Family Picnic, this year we will eliminate the dona-
tributed via email each Monday morning.                          tion request so that this event, held in Central Park, can truly
Thank you to everyone who has already volunteered - partic-      be a community-wide celebration of the school year. We will
ularly to all of the Class Parents who stepped forward during    still have an array of fun activities such as face painting and
the first weeks of school. This year, I hope to improve com-     organized sports.
munication to the Class Parents since you provide such a vital   Many more details will follow about these events plus many
link to the parent body. With parents increasingly busy at       other PA activities including the online tag sale, book fairs,
home and at work, having a personal connection, above and        bake sales and community outreach activities. I look forward
beyond email and paper, is so helpful in spreading important     to seeing many familiar and new faces at our meetings and
information about PA events and receiving feedback from the      events throughout the year.
parent community.
                                                                                                                      Amy Thind
I would also like to thank the four Senior Vice Presidents who
                                                                                                   Parents’ Association President
will lead the PA activities at each location this year: Mary

Summer May Fade, But Not Warm Memories
of Summer Camp 2010!
Introducing our New Director
Continued from the first page

know her new colleagues at IPS. She worked with Lynn                  I had lunch with Donna this summer and know that she is
Mueller on the curriculum and planned special activities and          very excited about being our new leader. Just being with her
events for this year. Donna plans to lead two new teacher             confirmed to me how fortunate the IPS community is to have
workshops, one about demystifying the tests for on-going              her as director. Donna not only has significant leadership
schools and the other on identifying developmental delays in          and management skills, but she is also a smart, charming and
young children and how to work with them until support is             affectionate person who has an easy connection with chil-
available. Donna also plans to conduct a version of the test          dren, parents and teachers. I know she will be very busy at
workshop for parents.                                                 the start of the school year. But, I urge you to stop in and
                                                                      introduce yourself to Donna, if you have not already met her,
Over the summer, Donna also met with Amy Thind, this
                                                                      and welcome her to our community.
year’s Parents’ Association president to discuss the PA activi-
ties and how, as director, Donna can work with the PA.
Donna also met with several parents who will be starting the
                                                                                                                      Connie Cranch
ongoing schools process this fall.
                                                                                                              Chair, Board of Trustees

Notes from Donna Cohen
Continued from the first page

children. At these meetings I shared information about                are the same qualities that appeal to parents of young chil-
myself. I thought it important for parents to know that I was         dren looking for an amazing preschool experience for their
born in the Bronx and moved to the Upper West Side when I             child. The blending of worldwide cultures and Manhattan
was eleven. I was raised by a single mother, who was a                neighborhoods is unique. Young children embrace diversity,
kindergarten teacher in the New York City public school sys-          acceptance and respect naturally when surrounded by adults
tem all of her working life. My father, who passed away when          who value these qualities. I am so proud to be a part of this
I was nine, was also a teacher. He taught social studies in a         community.
junior high school in Harlem. I like to think that I have edu-        I look forward to meeting every member of the IPS commu-
cation in my genes. I have a twenty-year-old son who is my            nity during this school year and hope all parents will feel free
pride and joy. He is a working actor, studying acting and             to call or visit at any time.
working as a trainer in a health club.
                                                                                                                        Donna Cohen
I knew when I accepted this position at IPS that there was
something very special going on here. What drew me to IPS

Correction to the Previous Issue
Photos of the Spring Benefit in the Summer 2010 Scribbler were incorrectly credited to Ira Fischer. The photographer’s name is
Ira Fox. We apologize for this mistake.

Scenes from United Nations Day 2010

Help Keep Us Strong and Bright!
The 2010-11 Annual Fund is off to a terrific start. Last year
we broke our previous record and were able to make all sorts
of wonderful changes at each location. But we are not done
yet! We still have lists of improvements we would like to
make and we are hoping you will help us beat last year’s
record of $308,000 from 407 contributions. Annual Fund
contributions bridge the gap between charging a competitive
tuition and providing an outstanding school. With the
money raised through the Fund we are able provide current
and future students with a truly exciting program.
Why donate to the Annual Fund? Your contribution will
provide:                                                            As alumni return as parents, we are very happy to be here
                                                                    and planning for the next generation of students. Each dollar
· Competitive Teacher Salaries                                      makes a difference. If you have any questions please contact
· Advanced Learning and Skill-Building Materials                    me at Thank you for supporting IPS!
· Facility Improvements                                                                                               Mary Vallon
· Field Trips                                                                                             Director of Development

· Long-term Viability of the School                                 The Scribbler is the newsletter of The International
· Scholarships                                                      Preschools and is edited by Cathleen Vasserman. Please con-
· Technology Upgrades and Training                                  tact Cathleen with any comments or suggestions for future
                                                                    articles at


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