Article from Jewish News June 2021: Menachem Mendel Academy adds preschool

Menachem Mendel Academy will begin its 2021 fall academic year with a new offering: a preschool.

Open to children ages three to five, the MMA Early Learning Center includes a language immersion program, with instruction in both English and Hebrew.

“We’re focused on small class sizes, project-based learning, Jewish values, and not just academics, but social and emotional wellness and life skills,” said Chaya Mushka Ben-Shabat, co-founder and CEO of MMA.

Located at 6140 E Thunderbird Rd. in Scottsdale, the preschool starts at $1,260 per month, and financial aid is available.

When the school opened in 2018, it offered education for boys through the sixth grade and finished the school year with 12 students. In the 2019 academic year, MMA expanded into eighth grade for boys and through the sixth grade for girls and began with 30 students.

Though the school has experienced rapid growth, Ben-Shabat said MMA is scaling back for the upcoming academic year and is only offering the preschool through fourth grade for boys and girls.

“We are resisting the temptation to grow in every direction,” she said. “We are really focusing on core excellence in these younger years and will grow from this point forward.”

Named for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the school has a curriculum focused on personalized lesson plans, hands-on learning and integrated Judaic and secular studies.

MMA’s goal is to instill its students with five core values: Torah, life skills, holistic happiness, world-class academics and goodness and kindness.

“We graduate, we’ve figured out how to do long division math, and we can remember when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But do we know how to solve a problem?” Ben-Shabat asked. “Do we have emotional healthy boundaries? These are all the skills that we need to actually thrive in today’s world, but who teaches them? At our school, those are part of the core curriculum.” JN

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