Our teachers supplement the curriculum with several enrichment programs. Monthly programs include Mother Goose on the Loose, Music, and Spanish. Additionally, outside specialists are invited to provide hands-on experiences related to Cape Cod and surrounding communities, diverse cultures, and personal health and safety. For example, in the fall, staff from Plimoth Plantation demonstrate what life was like as a pilgrim or native American. In the spring, Thornton Burgess staff visually showcase wildlife habitats found on Cape Cod and bring live critters we can discover in our very own backyard. During National Fire Prevention Month in October, we make a special trip to the local fire station. And in February, during National Children’s Dental Health Month, a dental hygienist visits.
The teachers routinely incorporate music and movement exercises, story time, seasonal themes and an in-house lending library to give the program a varied range of interests for the children. A fully fenced-in playground is used daily throughout the year to further large muscle development and gross motor skills.
Niisa Morton is excited to be back at West Falmouth Preschool teaching yoga! She has been working with children for over 15 years using yoga and fitness to teach developmental movement, balance, flexibility and calming techniques. She is a Kripalu/Pranakriya yoga instructor, birth educator, certified yoga therapist and serves as adjunct facility for the Kripalu Center for Yoga’s 300hr yoga teacher training program. She is a certified instructor with HealthyMoms Pre/Postnatal Fitness, Pranakriya Prenatal Yoga, YogaEd, Balance Body, Power Pilates, and AAAI/ISMA. Additionally, Niisa is the Mentor Programs Leader for Falmouth Volunteers in the Public Schools (VIPS), a school based mentor program for student’s kindergarten through grade 12.
Early Childhood Specialist María Pechuk was born and raised in Argentina and where she taught dance and aerobics to adults and children before moving to the United States in 2001 with her two sons. For over a decade she has been teaching Spanish to children on Cape Cod in immersion classes, camps, and private lessons. She says, “Taking care and teaching little ones my culture, music and language is very rewarding and something I really enjoy. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be to be like Wonder Woman she always fascinated me. The most inspirational part of my job is the kids and their big eyes looking at me. My favorite way to have fun is together with kids, parents, grandparents, and friends in a big circle playing in the learning process!”
Sarah Richards has her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She also holds certifications in Orff Scheulwerk (levels 1,2,&3), Conversational Solfege (1&2), as well as two early childhood music education certifications (First Steps in Music, Music Together). While her primary instrument of focus was flute, she has always sang and pursued opportunities to sing in college (chorale, voice studio, musical theater, all-female a capella group Six Minutes) and beyond. Before moving to the Cape, Sarah taught general music and chorus in the Berlin/Boylston Public Schools for ten years. She founded and directed two musical theater programs in the district, and taught private voice and flute lessons. Sarah was also a proud member of Millenium Magic Chorus, an all-female internationally competing barbershop chorus based out of Sturbridge Ma. During her time there, the chorus earned first and second place international titles. Since moving to the Cape, Sarah has been active at Cape Cod Church as a lead and supporting vocalist on Sunday mornings. She now shares her passion for music and early childhood education with her own children, and the West Falmouth Preschool community.
Amy Sellers has been working with toddlers and preschoolers for over twelve years. She created her own program, “Moving with Miss Amy” which brings imagination, joy and lots of fun to every child she teaches. She holds several fitness certifications and has been teaching exercise programs for over 35 years to student’s ages 3-95. Amy started dancing at the age of 7 with Klara Koenig and continued dancing through college.