Director planning fresh approach to Alper JCC preschool program

By Richard Yager….

Dr. Phyllis Bochman directs the Early Child Development Center at the Alper JCC.

With a new and enthusiastic director, the prestigious Early Child Development Center (ECDC) at the Alper Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Kendall has begun a fresh approach for its 2011-12 pre-school programming.

“Early childhood is a magical journey,” said Dr. Phyllis Bochman, 30-year veteran in pre-school education recently named director of the Dave and Mary Alper JCC’s Glen Greenstein Early Childhood Center.

“We’re implementing a new curricula to create joyful school memories,” she added, immersed in myriad detail for the ECDC school year that starts on Aug. 21.

Among planned innovations are music appreciation that combines singing and creative movement, new physical activities on the visiting Fun Bus, and “going green” such as planting butterfly and “veggie’ gardens in a nearby area.

“One of my jobs is to create opportunities to develop the imagination and create memorable rituals, traditions and celebrations that honor childhood,” Dr. Bochman explained, while just outside her door a portable bounce station shook with jumping tots in the ECD summer camp.

Due to enrollment limits, Dr. Bochman is reviewing applications for remaining vacancies that are fast-filling enrollment at the Alper JCC campus at 11155 SW 112 Ave., just a few blocks from the Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus where she has taught early education for 11 years.

It is that expertise that brought JCC executive director Ed Rosen’s comment that with Dr. Bochman’s appointment, “our preschool will continue to excel now and well into the future.”

Chair of Miami-Dade Public Schools Pre-K Advisory Board, she has served as director of the University of Miami’s Canterbury Pre-School for eight years. Through the United Way Directors Institute, she also has taught more than 120 administrators for Miami-Dade educational and community programs.

As a teacher who began “fresh out of Barry College” and mother of four teen to 20-year-olds, Dr. Bochman, at 54, stays as lively and motivated as ever in childhood education.

“I love it; it keeps you young,” she said. For information, a school tour and other details, she welcomes calls at 305-271-9000, ext. 299, or by visiting the ECDC website at

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