Contacts for Parenting & Family

Family Services Department

Amy Brinko

Accounts Manager
Adi Eilat Crowley

Early Childhood Services
Fairfax - JCCNV

Amy Vermillion

Early Childhood Learning Center Director
Amit Hickman

ECLC Program Coordinators
Laura Cooper

Kelsey Lanza

Jewish Values and
Culture Coordinator

Debbie Blonder

ECS Programming and
Events Coordinator

Juliana Quinteros-Mian

Early Childhood Services
Alexandria - Beth El Hebrew Congregation

Dina Backer

Early Childhood Learning Center Assistant Director
Ali Kerlin

School-Age Services & Camp Achva

School-Age Services Director
Joelle Kelenson

School-Age Services Assistant Director
Jessica Vandell

School-Age Services Coordinator
Conor Dibble

Camp Achva Director and Teen Community Liaison
Brian Grossbard
703.537.3041 program

Barri DeFrancisci

Dance Coordinator
Brenda Forsley

Community Engagement

Community Engagement Director
Laurie Albert

Community Engagement Coordinators

Samantha Brown

Jennifer DeAngelis

JCCNV Community Shlicha
Dana Kalishov

Upcoming Events

JCCNV: A Great Fit for Me!

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Focus on the Children

The Early Childhood Learning Center has been working with the “Reggio Emilia” philosophy.  The philosophy is inspired by the schools after WWll in Reggio Emilia, Italy and based upon the ideas that:  Children have a say over the direction of their learning, are able to learn by using all their senses, by relating to each other and the exploration of materials, and by being encouraged with endless ways of expressing themselves. A large part of the philosophy centers around the use of Art and materials.

The ECLC had a well received featured exhibit of the children’s work in the spring of 2011 that focused on long term topic studies from classes ranging from infants to four years of age. We will be keeping you informed as to the projects that come out of the Atelier maintained by Sarah D. Samuels Vejvoda for the 2011 – 2012 season.

Amy Vermillon, Director of Early Childhood Services
Amit Hickman, Director of the ECLC
Sarah D. Samuels Vejvoda, Atelierista

“Atelier” is from the French meaning "workshop". For a full definition, please click here. The ECLC is using it in the English context for working in a small group under an artist. Our modern “Atelier method" is a variant of fine art instruction taking place in an inviting art room that provides a wonderful place for children to explore their creative side under the guidance of our professional artist, Sarah D. Samuels Vejvoda, Atelierista.

The following is an excerpt from the ECLC Atelier page....

Transparent and opaque. Light and dark. Themes for the week.

The Ananim (115) flew into the Atelier this week…talking about things in the air, especially their love of paper airplanes. I thought we'd make some things that also could be in the air, but more hung than thrown- mobiles. Inspired by Alexander Calder- kinetic mobiles that move.The children used natural materials such as twigs from the beach and shells with drilled holes, and traditional craft materials of beads, wires, and colored acetate pieces. They successfully brought the 2 elements together, creating pieces that can hang and move in the air  all on their own.

Four more Prachim (201) children came to the Atelier to explore color mixing. Using the projector and colored acetate, we discussed how we can use red, yellow and blue and  make our own purple, green and orange. After playing with the acetate the girls wanted to use watercolor and paint. They then tried to combine both elements- paint and acetate paper- and somehow made even more colors!



Painting is still on the minds of the Barvazim (207) class. This time we tried watercolors. We explored with brushes vs. fingers, and a few enjoyed a  "pouring" technique as well. Even though I wasn't planning on using the projector with the Bavarim class, it was sitting out from earlier exploration. After the children were finished painting we turned out the lights and explored with colored acetate, some colored melted plastic cups (a new thing I am still playing around with) and sticks. The children enjoyed putting things on and pushing things off the projector almost as much as they enjoyed painting.







Light and dark, shadows and flashlights have been the interest of the Tzavim (205) class over the past few weeks. The projector was a perfect tool to play around with. All of the children enjoyed the placing the plastic melted cups onto the projector. With the first group of visitors I traced their shadows on a piece of white paper. The second group worked on drawings on clear acetate using permanent markers, that were then projected big on the wall. The third group placed some large shapes on the projector, and tried very hard to trace them on another large piece of paper. All of the children loved seeing their own shadows, hands and bodies, getting bigger and smaller depending on where they stood near the light. What an exploration!




As the weather continues to change Shemesh's TTH (203) class wanted to paint with natural Fall elements -leaves, pine needles and pine cones. Using only "Fall" colors of red, orange, yellow and green, the children swiped the pine needles with paint and tapped with the tips of the cones. While some rolled the pine cones in paint, others started to sticks fingers in the paint. I  gave out brushes, and the children continued to create.






The Dvorim (202) class has started to play together a bit more, vs. parallel play. I wanted to continue with that them while they visited the Atelier, and have them "work together as a team" to create something for the class. I placed a large sheet of contact paper on one of the tables, and bowls of goodies. We first talked about how sticky the contact paper was, and then I showed them how to place and press objects on it, trying hard to do one piece at a time. After most of the contact paper was covered, Miss Debbie or Miss Rochelle helped with putting down another piece of contact paper on top of all of our wonderful objects. The children helped "seal" the artworks- and both pieces are beautiful in the classroom windows.





The Maayim (113) class ended the week in the Atelier with a little bit of banging. I brought in some extra wood from my garage, and pre-drilled some holes in a few pieces(making things a bit easier.) First the children used some sand paper to soften the edges of the wood. Then nails were placed in the drilled holes and the children hammered away (using a real hammer!) connecting 2 pieces of wood together. The shape became shelves! But we decided that before they can be hung in the Maayim classroom (to hold more wonderful things that they plan to make in the future) the shelves would be painted. I will post photos of the finished woodworking projects in the near future.




Photo of the week:
from the Dvorim classroom- a beautiful collage combining color and Fall.