The Marcus Jewish Community Center is rolling out a wellness-based curriculum at its two preschools, one of which recently gained new accreditation.

The Weinstein School, based the Marcus JCC’s Zaban Park in Dunwoody, added accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School AJT Square LogoImprovement to its accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

SACS CASI serves Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, plus Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Weinstein School Director Kim Sucan said the SACS CASI accreditation is based on the New Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools. The two accreditations put the Weinstein School at the highest level a preschool can attain and ensure that the school meets high standards for early learning, development and care.

“We were excited to be a part of this SACS accreditation process, which shows our commitment to support the growth and development of our preschoolers in a culture of continuous improvement that engages leaders, staff and parents,” Sucan said.

The Weinstein School and its sister preschool, the Sunshine School at Temple Kol Emeth in East Cobb, are introducing a comprehensive, wellness-based curriculum called Discover: CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health).

The JCC Association developed the program with the University of Texas School of Public Health to teach children ages 3 to 5 to love physical activity and develop healthy eating habits. It involves the early childhood, sports and wellness, family engagement, and Jewish life departments at the Marcus JCC.

“Wellness has been an important part of our all of our programs for many years,” Sucan said. “By bringing various areas within our agency together and training us all in the same curriculum, we will be united in our efforts to educate both children and their parents on the importance of physical activity and healthy eating.”

Sunshine School Director Raye Lynn Banks added, “It is much easier to instill healthy habits at an early age than it is to change bad habits in older children.”

Among the activities of Discover: CATCH, preschoolers will grow fruits and vegetables in their own gardens.

“Instead of kids simply learning the facts about health,” Sucan said, “they actually live what they have learned by practicing healthy behaviors.”