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Prelude Preschool to host open houses

SPRINGFIELD -- The Prelude Preschool of the Arts at the Community Music School of Springfield will host a series of admissions open houses for prospective families on Feb. 18 and 19, and the following week on Feb. 24 and 25, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and again on Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. Margo Whitt, Preschool Director, will describe the many activities for three to five year olds which the children experience each day as they learn academic subjects and social skills. Families are encouraged to bring their preschoolers with them to visit Prelude. Learning through the arts is the focus of the preschool curriculum. Prelude is the only arts-based preschool offering both full and part day options in Massachusetts. The program emphasizes integrated learning in a warm, creative environment designed to encourage a young child's imagination, curiosity and intellect. The Prelude Preschool of the Arts opened last September to rave reviews. The school occupies the entire third floor of the magnificent Art Deco building at 127 State St. which houses the Community Music School, with two new classrooms, and a third room for dance and movement classes, indoor play and performances. Prelude also has a new private outdoor playground featuring musical equipment as well as traditional climbing and exercise structures. As examples of the curriculum which brings distinguished visiting artists to work with the children, noted storyteller Onawumi Jean Moss and children's book illustrator Diane DeGroat worked with the children as visiting artists, and the renowned Avery Sharpe Jazz Trio did a weekly session with the preschoolers during an Artist in Residence Program this fall. In addition, piano soloist Aviram Reichert, who was appearing with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, demonstrated his talents one morning for the children in an impromptu session. For 25 years, the Community Music School has been providing early childhood education classes for children in greater Springfield. The school's belief in the ability of the arts to change young lives led to the development of the new program. That belief has been further substantiated by considerable scientific research on the benefits of providing stimulating educational experiences and their impact on a child's future overall learning and enthusiasm for school. For additional information on the Prelude Preschool of the Arts, or the parents' open houses, please contact Margo Whitt at 723-8428. Advance reservations are not necessary to attend an open house. Free parking is available in the CMSS garage on Stockbridge Street, opposite the new school entrance and preschool playground.

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