Involvement in the fine arts is an investment in a child’s future.

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Pre-K & Kindergarten for age 5
Preschool for ages 3 & 4
Half-Day Discovery for ages 3-5
Early Childhood Enrichment for 2 year olds

In a handbook, “Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know And Be Able To Do”, published by The College Board, it states: “Preparation in the arts will be valuable to college entrants whatever their intended field of study. The actual practice of arts can engage the imagination, foster flexible ways of thinking, develop disciplined effort, and build self-confidence.”


About our Program

Our goal is to focus on the individual child, enabling him or her to increase their self image, develop self reliance and confidence, to foster the desire to question and learn through: Creating, Concept Building, Language Development, Problem Solving, Concentrating, Socializing, Perceiving, Fostering independence and Emotional Growth .

Through the collaboration of classroom teachers and art specialists in an aesthetic environment, your child will use art to actively organize his or her experience and integrate learning with all pieces of the curriculum: language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Your child will have many opportunities to use art media, materials, and concepts to communicate ideas, feelings, and stretch his or her imagination.

Research demonstrates that the Arts have a profound impact on the way people, especially children, learn. This style of learning creates pathways for future learning which builds critical literacy skills and communication skills. The Yocum Institute for Arts Education has operated a preschool program for over 45 years. Based on a strong foundation with CEMREL (Central Midwestern Regional Education Laboratory), we have introduced a further integrated arts program, Neighborhood Bridges. In June 2008, the staff of the Preschool and Kindergarten Program trained with Neighborhood Bridges, of the Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis (CTC). Founded in the fall of 1997 by Peter Brosius, Artistic Director CTC, and Jack Zipe, professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, Neighborhood Bridges is recognized by the Department of Education Office of Improvement and Innovation as an effective model for integrating the arts. In January, 2008, The Yocum Institute for Arts Education became a satellite site to bring Bridges to Berks County schools. The Preschool staff’s training, the Preschool and Kindergarten Program is the first, and only, preschool in the United States integrating the Neighborhood Bridges Program in our ongoing curriculum.

You are welcome to visit and see our classes in action, please call Elsa Luft Mierzejewski to arrange a visit at 610-376-1576 ext. 202

“We wanted our son to experience pre-school and Kindergarten as a place where art, music and play were celebrated in a small-class setting. The teachers at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education have a lovely way of building Visual Arts, song and story-telling into the curriculum, while also incorporating basic math, science, geography and language concepts to prepare little ones for their next steps. We were particularly delighted that our son had the opportunity to learn French, experience dance and movement class, and explore the culture of many countries through the Discovery program. The Institute’s very caring staff, creative immersion in the Arts, unique field trips, and focus on self expression are unmatched in Berks County and provide the perfect place for children to begin their first steps in a lifetime of learning. We’re pleased that the instructors at The Yocum Institute for Arts Education helped cultivate the “love of learning” in our child, and proud to be part of the Yocum family!” — Anne and Steve Ostrowski

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Elsa Luft Mierzejewski , Director of Preschool and Kindergarten, Yocum Institute for Arts Education

Elsa Luft Mierzejewski is a specialist in Early Childhood Education, B.S. Elementary Education, KutztownUniversity. She has over 35 years of experience teaching and has been director of our current program for 30 years. She is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Non-Public School Services, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Early Learning Staff:

Elsa Luft Mierzejewski, Preschool Director, Instructor

Nancy Campbell, Instructor

Kellie D’Addezio, Instructor

Jennifer Voelker, Instuctor

Diane Hollinger, Instructor

Angela Lattemann, Instructor

Sharon Dixon, Instructor


Instructional Aides:

Paula Auman
Cyndie O’Leary
Mary Penta
Susan Tomsho
Marissa D’Onofrio

Arts Specialists:

Debra Stoudt, French
Terri Cocci, Music
Kristina Dennis, Creative Movement
Joel Gori, Drama
Beverly Houck, Drama

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All teachers are certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Yocum Institute for Arts Education Preschool and Kindergarten is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Non-Public School Services.

To request a preschool registration form, please call 610-376-1576 or email here.

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