New owner continues learning tradition

Nursery school
aims to give youngest pupils an edge

By jennifer kohlhepp
Staff Writer

Nursery school
aims to give youngest pupils an edge
By jennifer kohlhepp
Staff Writer


FARRAH MAFFAI  Eric Kim, 5, and Joshua Neives, 6, play an interactive computer game that involves matching, problem solving and reading at Creative Nursery School, North Brunswick, June 27.FARRAH MAFFAI Eric Kim, 5, and Joshua Neives, 6, play an interactive computer game that involves matching, problem solving and reading at Creative Nursery School, North Brunswick, June 27.

NORTH BRUNSWICK — In today’s society, even preschoolers have a place where they can gain a competitive edge.

The Creative Nursery School, located at 303 Old Georges Road for the past 32 years, provides progressive educational and socialization programs to enrich the development of children ages 2 1/2 to 6 years old.

"Today, if your child does not attend a prekindergarten course, he or she is at a disadvantage," said Karina Srulevich, owner and director of Creative Nursery School.

Srulevich of Holmdel recently purchased the school from longtime owner and director Kathleen Miller of North Brunswick.


FARRAH MAFFAI  Daniel Fish, 5, looks through a book while he listens to the story on an audio tape at Creative Nursery School.FARRAH MAFFAI Daniel Fish, 5, looks through a book while he listens to the story on an audio tape at Creative Nursery School.

Miller remains at the school as the full-time music teacher, while Srulevich takes on all of the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations, scheduling and curriculum.

The school continues to offer part-time and full-time day care, nursery school, and summer day camp services, providing four class sessions throughout the regular school year for toddlers, preschoolers, prekindergarten and kindergarten students.

"At the request of parents, we will evaluate younger children to see if they can keep up with the curriculum," Srulevich said.

The school’s curriculum evolves from the nearly 100-year-old philosophy of Piaget Montessori, who was the first director of education for young children in Italy. Srulevich said Montessori began teaching children whose parents went off to work during World War I.

"We use special materials with Montessori elements to teach children music, language, math, science, art, botany, geography and care of self," Srulevich said.

Srulevich, a graduate of the Montessori Institute in New York, is also a graduate of Queens College in New York, where she earned her degree in psychology.

"I always wanted to work with children," Srulevich said. "When I had my daughter, I became very interested in progressive learning programs for kids."

The Muzzi Spanish course, which Srulevich said comes highly recommended by Oxford and Harvard universities, is among the progressive studies offered the school.

Sessions also include daily arts and crafts for the development of children’s motor skills, art history lessons, and social studies.

"Everything is taught at an age-appropriate level," Srulevich said.

The teachers recognize all holidays to instill cultural awareness in the children, according to Srulevich.

"Our first lesson is always humanity," Srulevich said.

Srulevich judges the success of her school by the standardized placement tests the children are required to take when entering a regular school system.

"Last year, our graduates placed at the second-grade level in both math and reading," Srulevich said.

To ensure her students get the quality care and education that they deserve, Srulevich said she has a 2:11 teacher-to-student ratio, rather than the state required 2:14 ratio.

Students also thrive at the school, Srulevich said, as a result of the family-like atmosphere they are immersed in daily.

"The fact that the school is actually built inside of an old home also contributes to their feelings of comfort and safety," Srulevich said.

The rooms, lighted with natural sunlight, are decorated with the children’s most recent art projects. Miniature desks hold computers with interactive games that teach problem solving in one room, while shelves filled with books, building blocks, instruments and other educational and inspirational toys line the walls of every other room.

Teachers also take their students outside to play beneath two huge trees in the back of the house that shade the fenced yard, which is equipped with various slides, bikes and climbing apparatus.

"Our goal is to make children love school, so that later on in life they will continue to love school, and ultimately, be able to set goals in life and love what they are doing," Srulevich said.

"Socialization, sharing and compassion are the byproducts of the curriculum here at Creative," Miller said.

During the summer, the school offers a more relaxed learning atmosphere with its annual day camp.

Srulevich recommends day camp for students to get familiar with the structure of a school schedule and to feel more comfortable in a social setting without their parents.

The Creative Nursery School is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Full and part-time schedules are available for nursery school, day care and summer camp.

For more information call (732) 297-7222.