Starting this fall, parents in the North Pocono area will have a new option for helping their preschool age children prepare for the journey towards becoming fulltime school students. The Moscow Academy Preschool, located at 265 N. Main St. in Moscow, is currently registering children ages 18 months to five years old for a September opening date.

Nicole Yost is the owner of the Moscow Academy Preschool, and she also serves as its director and lead teacher. Mrs. Yost, a 2001 graduate of North Pocono High school, has several years of experience teaching kindergarten and first grade in the private and public education systems. 

Mrs. Yost graduated from Marywood University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, K-6.  She also earned her certification in PreK-4 and holds a Private Academic Teaching Certification for PreK/Kindergarten.  She earned her Highly Qualified designation while teaching in both Alaska and North Carolina, states where her husband was stationed by the Army.

​ Working side by side with Mrs. Yost will be Jeannie Garubba, who is serving as Moscow Academy Preschool’s director of Mommy & Me, director of student activities, and preschool teacher’s aide. Mrs. Garubba is a Penn State graduate who has 21 years of experience as a preschool teacher and program director at two local faith-based preschools. She stated that she was ready to step back from such demanding roles. “I had finished at the other preschool, so I was available. I didn’t want to do the whole thing again, so what Nicole was offering was perfect,” said Mrs. Garubba.

The two women together plan to provide a well-thought-out menu of classes in the newly-renovated building that houses the preschool. Classes offered will be Mommy & Me for children ages 18 to 36 months of age and their caregivers, Nursey for three- and four-year-olds, and Pre-K for children who are four and five years old and not yet enrolled in school. Mommy & Me will be held one day a week, Nursery classes will be three afternoons per week, and Pre-K will be offered in three and five morning sessions.

Mrs. Garubba emphasized that Moscow Academy Preschool is not a daycare, but rather, a preschool. “Preschool is school! We’re an academic school that prepares kids with the basic interactive skills they’ll need in kindergarten,” she explained, adding, “Kindergarten is not what is used to be. We step up the game here, so we’re able to keep up the pace with the North Pocono kindergarten is going.”

Mrs. Yost describes the curriculum on the preschool’s website with the following words: “Our curriculum will allow students to explore their individual interests while gaining a broad range of knowledge in literacy, math, science, and social sciences. Most importantly, your child will learn the social and emotional developmental skills that are necessary to be an engaged learner and good classroom citizen.”

She said that children will engage in a variety of activities every day, such as centers for reading, art, science, and other academic subjects. Individual and differentiated work will allow children to learn at the pace and level best suited to their needs, with no child being bored or left behind due to the individualized attention offered. Teaching values and manners, as well as other valuable social skills needed in kindergarten, will also be an important part of the daily curriculum at the preschool.

“We’ll be teaching values right from the get-go, like manner and treating your friends properly. Bullying will never happen here,” said Mrs. Garubba. Mrs. Yost added, “We’ll be teaching empathy, or how it’s important to treat others as you want to be treated. I’m huge on positive behavior and positive discipline.”

Even the Mommy & Me classes, which will meet just once a week for 75 minutes, will have an academic component as well as a structure that is constant from week to week. This will allow the youngest children to get used to both academic ideas and the basic principles of how a school setting works. Mrs. Yost remarked that Mommy & Me is a wonderful stepping stone to a more rigorous program, as well as a way for the parents of the children to get to know one another.

Moscow Academy Preschool is housed in a completely renovated building, a process undertaken by Frank Ciero, CPA, the building’s owner. “I’d like to thank Frank for overseeing my vision and renovating the entire building to make it the amazing preschool it is today,” remarked Mrs. Yost as she stood in the bright, spacious, cheerful classroom where students will spend their time. A small playground is located adjacent to the building, and part pf the playground area will include grass and a picnic table so students can do some of their learning outside when the weather is nice.

The preschool recently hosted a successful open house, and will have another on Saturday, April 22, from noon until 3 p.m. Enrollment is currently open, but spaces are limited and filling quickly. For more information, including details about classes and tuition, visit www.moscowacademypreschool.com or email moscowacademypreschool@gmail.com.