In the City Camp – To bring its Jewish camp curriculum, experiential teaching technique, and marketing knowledge to synagogue early childhood camps in an effort to strengthen these programs and increase collaboration among Jewish education providers in Atlanta.
In the City Camp (ITCC) has developed a welcoming, experiential, culturally Jewish curriculum for children entering kindergarten through 8th grade. At camp, Jewish narratives, traditions, and culture are woven into activities that build campers’ confidence, enable them to forge lasting friendships, and strengthen their Jewish identities. ITCC seeks to share its expertise in curriculum development, marketing, and experiential teaching techniques with the preschool population to strengthen their programs, deliver an effective Jewish camp experience to preschool children, and create a pipeline to In the City Camp once children reach kindergarten age.
Through this grant, ITCC will build on its relationships with four Atlanta synagogues that each serve distinct geographic communities: Congregation Beth Tikvah, Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation B’nai Torah, and The Temple. Beginning in January 2018, ITCC’s staff – including an early childhood educator who will serve as a consultant for the length of the grant – will meet with each preschool’s educators to assess the needs, strengths, and challenges of their programs. During the spring, ITCC will facilitate a series of professional development workshops for its synagogue partners, tailored to address the needs each identified during the assessment phase. Following the spring workshops, each preschool will receive a mini-grant of $1,000 to develop a small-scale curriculum pilot to be implemented. These pilots will enable educators to test new approaches learned during the workshops.
In addition to strengthening the preschool programs and ultimately increasing their enrollment, this uniquely collaborative project will draw together synagogues located in four different neighborhoods to connect, share best practices, and learn from one another.