The Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center
(APJCC) is a Los Gatos community center that offers summer
day camp, year-round preschool, and many other programs
for kids and families.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME
The APJCC Preschool follows a developmental philosophy.
This means we follow developmentally appropriate
practices in a play-based program that helps children grow
in all developmental areas - social, emotional, cognitive,
language, and motor development.
Our summer camp, Camp Shalom, emphasizes having
fun, developing new skills, and making friends. Kids can
choose a traditional day camp experience with daily games,
arts & crafts, swimming, singing, and a variety of other
activities such as science and nature, field trips, theme
weeks, and more. Or they can choose from a variety of specialty
camps in areas such as circus arts, cooking, dance,
LEGO engineering, STEM, and sports including basketball,
martial arts, parkour, soccer, and tennis.
APJCC IS DIFFERENT
Some of the things that make our preschool and camp
programs special are the warm and welcoming atmosphere,
the quality of our staff -- many of whom have been with the
JCC for many years -- and the focus on non-academic areas
of child development, especially during the summer.
We're proud that our day camp is accredited by the
American Camping Association (ACA), which certifies
summer camps for quality and safety. And we're proud of
our licensed preschool, license #430709398.
In the APJCC Preschool, the child/teacher ratio follows
state licensing requirements for the various age groups: for
18-month-olds it's 1:4, age 2 years 1:6, age 3 years 1:8, and
age 4 years 1:9. At Camp Shalom, our counselor to camper
ratio is 1:8, except in our preschool camps where the ratio
follows the same state licensing requirements as our
Our philosophy is that play is the work of children, and
that children learn valuable lessons through a play-based,
experiential approach. By interacting with peers and by
finding creative solutions to challenges, children learn to
self-regulate (regulate their emotions and behavior by themselves), practice good decision making, make friends
and bond with others.
At the APJCC Preschool, each day we offer a combination
of free play and organized activities. Activities are
designed to enhance children's skills in all areas of development,
including physical, social, emotional, language,
cognitive, and spiritual. We offer a mix of indoor and outdoor
activities, weather permitting. A typical day includes
experiences such as art, sensory activities, building or playing
with manipulatives, singing, storytime, and a group
project, as well as snack and lunchtime. Children also enjoy
a weekly music class with our music specialist, and gym
class with our movement specialist. Children who are at
school for the full day (rather half day) also have naptime.
At Camp Shalom, the preschool-age program is similar
to our regular APJCC Preschool program that was just
described. For grades K-8, a typical day starts with an allcamp
song circle, followed by a variety of activities with the
child's age group, which might include sports, art, cooking,
science, lunch, and children's choice electives, as well as
daily swimming in our heated pool. Every week has a special
theme, and the children also enjoy weekly field trips to
fun locations around the South Bay.
WE WORK WITH KIDS AND FIND SOLUTIONS
We work with children to help them regulate their own
behavior. The emphasis is on finding solutions to challenging
behavior. When necessary, we reach out to parents to
involve them in finding a solution.
At the APJCC Preschool, each class has two teachers, a
senior teacher and a junior teacher. Senior teachers are
required to have, at a minimum, 24 college credits in Early
Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 175
days of early childhood teaching experience within the past
4 years, or an Associate's Degree or higher in Early
Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 3
units of supervised field experience. Junior teachers are also
required to have college credits in Early Childhood
Education or Child Development. All teachers have completed
a fingerprint scan and background check, and are
carefully selected for their warmth, enthusiasm, and caring
attitude toward children.
At Camp Shalom, all our camp counselors have experience working with children. Our preschool counselors are
licensed preschool teachers from the APJCC Preschool.
Camp counselors for the K-8 age group all have experience
working with children, are at least 18 years old, and are
carefully selected for their warmth, enthusiasm, and caring.
All camp counselors complete a week-long pre-camp training
session, and have completed a fingerprint scan and
background check. All staff are certified in CPR and first
aid. And at the swimming pool, American Red Cross certified
lifeguards are always on duty, and counselors are in the
water with the children at all times.
We welcome everyone. Our camp and preschool programs
are grounded in Jewish values and traditions, and
welcome families from all backgrounds. You don't have to
be Jewish to participate in camp, preschool, or any Jewish
Community Center program. The main focus of our programs
is on producing well-rounded, happy children.