The J Center for Early Learning is located on the West Side of El Paso in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. Our campus is surrounded by beauty and is where nature meets nurture. The J’s facility is a peaceful environment that promotes a sense of harmony and tranquility.
Our classrooms are bright, natural, and inviting. Each room has a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide a seamless transition between indoors and out. The windows allow sunlight to fill the rooms on sunny days and also allow the children to observe changes in the natural weather patterns. You’ll notice a respect for our planet that is apparent everywhere and the children are often encouraged to bring objects to recycle (or “upcycle”) into art.
Materials in the rooms are easily accessible and uncluttered and every resource is carefully considered for its purpose. The simple white classroom walls burst with the colors of the childrens’ work, accompanied by documentation of their projects, learning experiences and interactions with their environment.
You’ll notice mirrors which are an important part of helping a child form his or her identity. Family photographs also abound, which remind the children that they are a members of a larger community, and also help to reinforce the home-school connection. Every classroom has a door leading outside that opens to the courtyard or Piazza, where we can all gather. Throughout The J there are many opportunities for the children to interact which encourages a sense of community.
Downtime is also important. During nap or rest time the children enter our slightly darkened rooms with soft music playing, where they can relax and lay quietly.
The J’s environment is designed to be welcoming, nurturing, and provide a sense of comfort. Our goal is for it to feel like a second home filled with love and learning.
We believe that nature is the “third teacher,” along with the student’s teacher at school and their own experiences at home with their parents. Everything at The J provides children with an opportunity for learning and growth and there is so much to learn outside as well! That’s why we call the playground spaces our Outdoor Learning Environments.
Every learning experience that is available to the children indoors is provided outdoors as well. The children can enjoy: reading, art, math, science, dramatic play, building, sensory exploration and developing their social skills (and climbing, running and jumping skills as well) while being inspired by our sunny El Paso weather. We allow the children plenty of time each day to utilize unstructured time outdoors to explore and engage with the environment.
Caring for the earth is a central theme at The J. Our organic garden beds give the children hands-on experience in understanding how our food and flowers grow and the importance of taking care of our planet.
At The J Center for Early Learning, safety is our first priority. We are on constant alert to ensure that every child and the entire facility are safe and secure at all times. Our facility is gated and fully monitored by a camera security system.
Every child at The J must be signed in at the beginning of the day and is released only to a parent or another pre-approved adult at the end of the day. Our high staff-to-student ratio ensures that children are always well looked after. We require that all children have a staff member accompanying them at all times in the classroom and the outdoors.
All staff members at The J are life scanned and vetted. They undergo a thorough background check prior to hiring and the staff are all certified in CPR and First Aid. We help our children stay healthy at all times. The entire facility including the classrooms, play area, equipment and outdoor facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily using green seal certified non-toxic products. Our emergency plans are regularly updated for all standard emergency scenarios. We do regular drills for fire, inclement weather, and lockdown scenarios.