Sheva: Early Learning Framework

The Block and Dreeben School for Young Children is proud and excited to announce our participation in Sheva, an early childhood learning framework shaped by the latest brain and child development research. In Hebrew, Sheva means ‘seven’, and titling the program Sheva is a nod to the significance this number has in Jewish tradition. An initiative of the Jewish Community Center Association (JCCA), Sheva is comprised of seven core principles that work together to encourage participation of all members of the early childhood program—the director, the teachers, the children, and the families.

Seven Core Principles of the Sheva Program:

Children as Constructivist Learners
Children are natural learners. A Jewish expression of values emphasizes that our teachers inspire children to question their world and appreciate multiple perspectives. Based on an image of the child as a capable and competent learner full of potential, teachers and children engage in research as a way of co-constructing knowledge. When children are agents of their own learning, they will build life-long critical thinking skills and are more deeply invested in the process.


Our Early Childhood Directors as Visionaries  
Our program directors inspire a shared vision for the school based on Jewish values. We create, share, and foster a vision for the school that focuses on nurturing the minds and hearts of children and their families.

Supporting Early Childhood Educators as Professionals
At the JCC, our teachers view themselves as lifelong learners, constantly engaging in the pursuit of learning opportunities, prized by our Jewish tradition. The combination of teachers’ education, experiences, and passion enrich the learning of young children and their families. We provide time for teachers to study and learn.

Seeing Our Families as Engaged Partners
We view family engagement as key to building a healthy school community. Our program offers opportunities for families to volunteer, to participate in family events, and to attend parenting classes. We go beyond this to actively listen to and incorporate parents’ perspectives into how we think about teaching and learning. Families are invited to partner with us in the education of their children. We support parenting by viewing families as competent thinkers, by offering insight into our educational philosophy, and by celebrating Jewish life together.

Using Environments as Inspiration for Inquiries
Our classrooms, hallways, and indoor and outdoor spaces invite and spark curiosity and wonder for our children. Our vision for the early childhood learning environment suggests an intentional place for children that provoke a sense of wonder, curiosity, intellectual engagement and creativity with endless possibilities. Attention is given to indoor and outdoor classrooms and common spaces to create community, build connections, and encourage and support opportunities for Jewish living.

Discover CATCH as Shmirat HaGuf (taking care of our bodies) 
Research shows that children are able to learn and play in more meaningful ways when they eat well and get enough activity; therefore, we nurture a love of physical activity and we encourage children and families to develop healthy eating habits. The JCC Association in partnership with the University Of Texas School Of Public Health and its CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) has created Discover: CATCH. At the JCC we promote a lifetime of healthy diet and exercise.

Israel as the Story of the Jewish People
We celebrate everyday life through a Jewish lens and create meaningful images about Israel, allowing ancient and modern Israel to come alive through music, dance, stories, food, and life connections with children across the sea.

Back to top