By Staff Report
Astoria parents won’t have to travel into the city for their pre-school children to receive a standard of education that is typically only available to high-income earners and celebrities.
Talent Prep Astoria Preschool, located at 35-16 Astoria Blvd, will officially open its doors in April and will provide children ages 2 to 4 with a quality education. It is the first preschool center to open in Queens under the Talent Prep brand founded by borough native Yobe Qiu.
Yobe, who was a preschool teacher at the “Avenues: The World School” in Chelsea, said she wants families in Queens to have the quality language immersion and Gifted & Talented (G&T) education that celebrities like Tom Cruise afford their children, but at a much more affordable and accessible level.
“After teaching for many years, I realized that this type of education shouldn’t be exclusive to children of wealthy parents in Manhattan,” Qiu said. “I live in Queens, so I looked for a place where we could open a center like this to serve parents in the neighborhood and finally found one in Astoria.”
The preschool curriculum focuses on the development of each child’s emotional / physical growth as well as communication skills through the use of music, art, movement, puzzles and books. This also includes yoga instruction safely designed for children.
Parents can enroll their kids in half-day or full-day classes, and beginning at the age of 3 enlist their kids in Gifted & Talented preparatory sessions as well as the coveted Mandarin Immersion program.
More Than a Preschool
“G&T preparation and Mandarin immersion is in large demand right now, especially for new parents in the neighborhood,” said founder Yobe Qiu.
The Gifted & Talented program offers specialized instruction to prepare kids to pass the G&T exam offered by the city in January.
“Our instructors conduct private and small group sessions, in which they familiarize the students with the test questions, give them practice tests, and evaluate students’ individual strengths and weaknesses,” Yobe shared. “Our practices and activities ensure that students are more confident and know how to solve the challenges they will encounter on the test.”
In order for parents of enrolled students to stay informed of their children’s progress, Talent Prep will send them a weekly e-mail on all the instruction items that were covered, as well as ideas and guides on how to practice with their kids at home.
After a child completes seven G&T sessions at Talent Prep, an individualized and detailed report is written and discussed with parents to go over their child’s progress and determine the best approach to continue their education.
Instruction for Older Children
For children ages 4 to 8, Talent Prep’s Mandarin Immersion program is offered on weekends. Alternatively, parents may enroll their kids into weekend tutoring for ELA reading and writing. There, children are taught how to master literacy and composition skills, preparing them for relevant state testing.
Math, Robotics and STEM classes are also made available for children in grades K to 5 on weekends and weekday afternoons. For parents who wish to plan ahead, a 10-week full day summer camp that incorporates all of the programs Talent Prep has to offer is open for registration as well.
“We are excited to host open houses on weekends this month so we can show parents in Astoria all that we have to offer,” said Qiu.
For more information, including rates and how children can obtain a free Gifted and Talented Assessment, interested parents are asked to e-mail [email protected] or visit their website at: http://www.talentprep.org/preschool