In the year of 1991, with the sponsorship of the Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A. Regional Executive, Holy Martyrs A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool was established. It is affiliated with Holy Martyrs Armenian Elementary and Ferrahian High School, which is the first Armenian school established in the United States in 1964. In 2006, with the generous donation of benefactress Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian, the Preschool was renamed to Holy Martyrs A.R.S Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool.
Holy Martyrs A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool is committed to fostering continued growth and development of the “whole” child, which encompasses the areas of social-emotional, cognitive, creative and physical skills. Since young children learn through active involvement with a variety of materials, the preschool provides a safe, nurturing and enriching environment, which encourages a child to explore and experiment with many materials. It is a problem-solving atmosphere where the process of attempting to solve the problem is more important than the product. Children are encouraged to question, to hypothesize, and to think. The daily routine allows for a variety of valuable learning experiences including individual, small group and large group activities with children and adults.
The Preschool offers a relaxed and casual setting geared to the needs and interests of each child and each parent who is a part of the school. Individual differences as well as family cultural values are recognized and appreciated.
Holy Martyrs A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool’s curriculum is based on Developmentally Appropriate Practices with a thematic focus. By creating different levels, the program enables teachers to adjust the curriculum to meet the developmental needs of the child. These levels are designed to align with Jean Piaget’s Preconception and the Intuitive stages of development. This means that a child’s development takes place in an orderly and predictable fashion, each child develops at his/her own pace, and that each child has his/her own learning style. The levels allow for sequences in physical as well as cognitive development. Many developmental sequences occur due to natural maturation, others occur through the child’s experiences as they get older and others because they are inherently and logically related. Furthermore, Holy Martyrs A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool has an eclectic approach and classrooms are based on interest centers. The daily schedule consists of a good balance of child initiated and teacher directed educational activities. Children have an opportunity for exploration and play outdoors in the renovated playground.
In preschool, we offer a learning environment, which emphasizes the following five developmental learning domains: Cognitive development, social development, physical development, language and creative development.
Language Arts: Children acquire pre-reading skills both in Armenian and English languages;
Cognitive Skills: Children acquire concepts in mathematics, science, social studies, health and other academic areas;
Aesthetic Skills: Children have daily opportunities for aesthetic expression and appreciation through art and music;
Social Skills: Children are provided many opportunities to develop social skills such as cooperating, helping and negotiating;
Motor Skills: Children have daily opportunities to use large muscles by running, jumping and balancing. They use their small muscles by experiencing drawing, writing, using the scissors and etc.
Holy Martyrs A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool is licensed by the State of California to serve the needs of children ages 2 through 5 years. It is also accredited by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1997.