Our Philosophy

The mission of Third Street Preschool is to instill in young children a deep curiosity about their world and to equip them with the tools they need to explore it. We encourage preschoolers to grow as creative thinkers and problem solvers, as risk takers seeking new challenges, as imaginative playmates, caring classmates, and lifelong lovers of learning and the arts.

Third Street Preschool is an integral part of Third Street Music School Settlement, a non-profit community serving New Yorkers of all socioeconomic backgrounds since 1894.  A school within a school, Third Street Preschool takes full advantage of its rich surrounds. We know that music is a great teacher. It unites children in beautiful singing, it awakens the ear, introduces rhythm, and inspires expressive movement

At Third Street, we believe that young children learn with their whole selves – through imaginative play, purposeful pursuit and active engagement with music and art. Most importantly, they learn with and from each other.

Mathematical thinking is central to the Third Street’s mission and an integral part of each day’s experience. Whether experimenting with symmetry and patterning, or exploring seasonal change, preschoolers begin using math and science to organize their everyday lives. Through stories, author visits and role play, preschool children acquire a lifelong love of quality literature.

Preschool classes frequently visit our garden to plant, dig and enjoy nature; they visit the dance studio, the drum room and the nearby post office. Children interview, map, play, pretend, cook, paint, write, listen, count and construct. They may work quietly on their own, together with a friend, or in a large, busy group.

As children’s understanding and competence grow, so does their sense of confidence and pride. As their social experiences broaden, so does their respect for one another. And, as their experiences with music-making blossoms, so does their creativity and joy.