About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

A note about Halloween from our Director Emeritus…

Posted on October 28, 2015 in category SYC Announce

A note about Halloween from our Director Emeritus...

Halloween was my children’s favorite time of the year next to Christmas.  They loved to dress up and they loved to eat candy.  I struggled with trying to control their candy intake and finally gave up; they all lived and have good teeth.  I came to accept that Matt was hyper until the candy was gone.  I have been known to sneak into candy bags and make it disappear faster than it normally would.  It was the one time of the year that I, NOT a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, would tackle a cat costume or a batman outfit and it would turn out looking enough like it was supposed to that my children would be pleased and love me!  In fact, a few of these outfits are still in SYC dress-ups!

Not all preschoolers like Halloween, with its masks and witches and scariness.  This is because young children have not yet learned to distinguish between reality and fantasy.  These fears are normal for this age and what helps most is to talk about them. The talking helps children handle their fears and feel supported by adults when they listen.  At school we talk about scary masks and costumes.  Alice the puppet seems to have trouble every year with scary masks, so we use her to encourage the children to express their concerns.

For the children (and teachers!) who are ready for Halloween costumes, we enjoy dressing up.  One year as I arrived at school there was a cow talking to the minister of the church!

Haunted houses are not for preschoolers.  The scenes depicted are too graphic for young children.  Save this experience for later years when fantasy-reality knowledge is more sophisticated.

Jan Waters


Dramatic Play at SYC…

Posted on October 22, 2015 in category Director's Blog

Dramatic Play at SYC...

What are they learning by pretending?

Pretend play or imaginative dramatic play is the acting out of stories which involve multiple perspectives and the playful manipulation of ideas and emotions. It plays a vital role in a child’s development.  It helps them  learn to make sense of the world.

I remember as a young child racing home after spending 7 hours at elementary school and the first thing I wanted to do when I came home was to play school.  I always wanted to play the teacher, being in charge of the whole class of stuffed animals.  Years later…I became a teacher.

Most of my early childhood years I spent time playing with baby dolls.  I took them everywhere, made clothes for them, fed them, insisted my parents make them real pancakes just like they were making for me, I changed their diapers, and swayed and snuggled with them.  Many years later….I became a mother.

I also loved running around in my bare feet outside with the neighborhood kids.  We spent hours playing cops and robbers.  We had metal hand cuffs and my parents let me have a cap gun.  I was thrilled with the loud sound and smoke odor that escaped it every time I pulled the trigger. I felt powerful. Years later….I never became a cop or a robber.

In my Kindergarten year I would spend my free time, washing Barbie dolls’ hair, and snipping away at the hair. Creating, ‘unique’ cuts.  When I became dissatisfied with the Barbies, I moved on to bigger dolls, when that grew boring, I even moved on to cutting and styling my friends’ hair.  My mom was a hair stylist and I wanted to try it out.  …..I never become a cosmetologist. (Thank goodness.  I had many a bald Barbies and many friends with uneven bangs.)

I even pretended to be Michael Jackson.  I had the sweet red leather jacket and a single sequined glove.  I knew all the dance moves to Thriller.  I did not become the King of Pop, though I still like to dance.

Sometimes it can be scary to watch your child in pretend play.  Watching them point a sword and chase after each other and shouting “I’m going to get you.”  Watch their faces.  Do they look like they are having fun? Are the smiling and laughing while being chased.  If so, let it happen.  If they seem unsure, it’s time to step in and check in.  Do they need help setting a limit?  Are they worried about something?  If your child enjoys playing bad guys it doesn’t mean they will turn out to be one.  Just as putting on a princess dress and twirling around, doesn’t mean your child will become a princess.

A child who loves performing check ups on you or the dog, may become a doctor or a vet.  But they might also just be enjoying the play.

Playing and trying out different roles helps them to understand more about these roles.  It gives them a different perspective.  When children engage in dramatic play they gain many skills. They experience freedom to express and work through positive and negative feelings.  They learn perspective taking, problem solving skills, social skills, communication skills and empathy. It can enrich their creativity and expression of ideas.  All of these skills enhance a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.

…Amy Rudawsky, SYC Co-Director


Annual Silent Auction

Posted on October 13, 2015 in category From the Office

This event is our biggest fundraiser for the scholarship fund and it can only happen with the help of the whole community. There’s music, good food, great conversation and all kinds of cool items. It started as a services auction; families would donate dog walking, garden consultation, childcare, fresh baked goods and the like; over the years we’ve started receiving more physical items like jewelry, art work, gift certificates and handmade crafts. One of the most fun things is walking around the tables and seeing what this amazing community has come up with. Please plan to join us Saturday, November 21st in Fellowship Hall: check in begins at 6:30. Admission to the auction is a $10 donation, volunteers are admitted free, donors receive a $5 discount. It is an adult only evening (babes in arms are welcome) and there is childcare available, see the sign up in the hallway for childcare details later in October.

If you would like to donate, volunteer or bring food visit http://tinyurl.com/syc2015 and fill out the information. Donations do not need to be dropped off in the office until the week of November 16th but please let us know what you’re bringing now. There’s an early bird registration drawing for a gift card on November 7th. Class basket donations will be collected November 2-13, each class has a theme which can be found on the website. Basket donations are collected in each classroom. Many classes still need a parent to bring the box to and from the classroom each day during collection and if they want to also to assemble that basket, sign up online or in the hall if you’re interested. Our final planning meeting is November 3rd at 7 pm in the 3/4’s room and all who are interested are welcome to attend.
… Christine Davidson, Auction Committee Chair

The New School Year has Begun

Posted on October 01, 2015 in category Director's Blog

SYC teachers volunteered their last weeks of summer this year, to undertake a new project of organization.  After 46 years (SYC began in 1969) things began to accumulate.  It was time to carefully purge unneeded and unused items and clean.  Thanks to the extra week of volunteering, we were able to complete our project during teacher work week and start the year off fresh.  We created a central storage area for all the classrooms, and were able to declutter the classes to make them more visually appealing to the children, teachers and parents.  We’ve already received great feedback from returning SYC parents on the new spaces!

The 2015-2016 school year has started.  With the church construction, drop off and pick ups have been a little more challenging than in previous years, due to the lack of parking spaces.  We developed a plan to alleviate some of that stress of finding a parking space.  We are thankful to the parents for working on this with us.  We know that the inconvenience will be short lived and the improvements made in the building will be worth it.

The fall like weather really made it feel like the start of the school year.  Kids are still settling in and exploring their new environments, discovering new/old things, starting to make new friendships and of course playing.  We look forward to what the year will bring us.

…Amy Rudawsky, Co-director