Ellen Turk (left) and Christi Galan are preschool teachers at the Miller YMCA.
Sept. 27, 2012
-- Newbury Park, Calif.--The two teachers heading up the preschool at Miller Family YMCA of Newbury Park maybe new to the Y, but they have been teaching preschool together as a team for 12 years in Newbury Park. Christi Galan and Ellen Turk brought their team teaching approach to the Miller YMCA (The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch, 320 Via Las Brisas, Newbury Park) this year.
"We love the core YMCA values of caring, honesty, responsibility and respect," says Galan. "We share those same values."
The Y facility also attracted the two teachers to the Y. "It's gorgeous," says Turk, who has 17 years experience teaching preschool. "There is plenty of grass, sand and play areas. Kids learn so much from being outside. We approach everything as moms first. We instill love of learning from day one and let kids know that school and learning are fun. Our curriculum focuses on getting kids ready for kindergarten--
numbers, letters, art. Each month has a theme. There are so many different ways to learn. We include them all."
The Y accepts children age 2 1/2 years (must be potty trained) to five years. Children are divided by age. "Older kids are in more of a pre-k program," says Galan. "What's fun is as the year progresses, the kids keep asking about what's coming next. They are so eager to learn."
"Ellen and Christi have incorporated their ideas and curriculum into the Y's," says Julie McConville, the Miller Y's youth development director. "It's a great preschool program, not a daycare program. It inspires learning so kids have a wonderful start as they enter kindergarten."
McConville points out that the YMCA preschool is part of the larger, family-oriented organization. "The Y supports the family in many ways, especially through health, fitness and youth programs," says McConville. "We bring our Itty Bitty sports, ballet, dance and karate classes into the preschool and provide swim lesson options as well."
Classes have a one to 12 teacher/student ratio. For more information about the Miller Y, call 805-480-0309 or email Julie McConville, jmcconville@