The Red Balloon was a wonderful place to start
Seems so long ago! Declan attended Anderson from Sept 2002 to June 2011, and now Beacon High School from Sept 2011 to present, expected graduation is June 2015. We’re looking at colleges now and can let you know where he ends up this time next year! The Red Balloon was a wonderful place to start his educational experience, with loving and nurturing teachers and staff who created an environment that enabled him to develop important social and academic skills that helped him to become the student and person that he is today. We chose the Red Balloon because we felt there was a holistic approach to education and childcare and a genuine sense of understanding and acceptance for each child. It was great to watch him change over the three years from a very tentative toddler (separation anxiety!!) on that first day in the Yellow Room to a confident child in the Orange Room, with lots of friends and more than ready for kindergarten. On a more practical note, I really appreciated the hot lunches, the indoor and outdoor play spaces and the flexible schedule that made it work well for us. Hope that helps and best wishes,
Red Balloon’s approach to social emotional development
My Son attended Red Balloon for two meaningful years. Red Balloon’s approach to social emotional development was just what he needed as he began to navigate the world around him. We appreciate the way he was encouraged to be curious, care for others and learn his own body. He learned to read while at Red Balloon and took his ERB test there. He scored 99.9 percent on his verbal skills and 93% on the math assessment. From Red Balloon my son attended PS 75 dual language program ( number one dual language program in the city) and passed kindergarten with flying colors. We wanted a more rigorous program and joined Success Academy Upper West. My son has aced that curriculum and continue to benefit for the strong foundation provided in Red Balloon. Lastly, it is not just education and engagement you find in Red Balloon, you will find a family. From the chef, to the teachers, to the director, we all worked for the best interest of the children in a non-competitive, supportive, kind environment. I treasure my years with this community.
The Red Balloon is more than a school, it's a family, a second home
Very rarely do you find such a caring environment that not only provides the children with and exceptional learning experience but also a staff with a support system that genuinely cares for each and every single child on a personal level. Our son Chance, now 6, attended the Red balloon from 2010 -2013 . He now attends the Bank Street School for Children and will be a 1st grader in September. His little brother, Chase will begin as a yellow room freshman in September and we could be more thrilled! Norma, the program director, works tirelessly to make sure the ship sails smoothly. She has a heart of gold and her kindness cannot be described in words! The teaching staff is amongst some of the kindest, most well equipped educators around! The In house chef , Jeff, prepares nutritious , delicious meals that rivals home cooking and keep the children smiling with his jokes and impressions! I could go on, and on about how amazing this place is! I'm 100% certain that Chance's success is due to the wonderful foundation he received at the Red Balloon. Last, but certainly not least, the parent community is wonderful. The collective effort is hands down the BEST early education experience we’ve ever seen.
It was a wonderful combination of nurturing, challenging and learning
Our daughter, who’s now 13, had an amazing start at the Red Balloon. It was a wonderful combination of nurturing and challenging. I’ll never forget how she, at age 2, was expected to bus her own dishes after breakfast – and she did it! She was given responsibilities and she proudly followed through. Red Balloon was an exciting and fun place to learn, with outstanding teachers. It was also a terrific community. Our daughter is still friendly with some of her Red Balloon friends and we with their parents, 10 years later.
Dalia went to PS 165 in the Dual Language G&T program for K and 1st, then transferred to CPE1 for the rest of elementary school. She was at the Queens Paideia School for middle school and will be attending Harvest Collegiate High School in the fall.
We still feel so lucky to have been a part of the Red Balloon family
My daughter, Natalie attended the Red Balloon from 2008-2011, followed by kindergarten and 1st grade at The Neighborhood School (TNS), a progressive public school in the East Village. Though we loved TNS and felt that it had a similar philosophy and community feel that we had come to love at Red Balloon, our situation changed and we moved Natalie to Ella Baker, another public progressive school on the Upper East Side that is open to citywide residents. Natalie is currently in 2nd grade at Ella Baker and is doing well, both socially and academically.
In all of our experiences with various schools, teachers, administrators and styles, we still feel so lucky to have been a part of the Red Balloon family. The benefit of receiving an early childhood education at the Red Balloon is evident in Natalie's critical thinking and interpersonal skills, which she developed early on. She demonstrates a sense of fairness and empathy that was actively supported at the Red Balloon, and which I have not seen to this extent in other programs. The quality of the teachers, combined with their nurturing of an extremely racially and economically diverse body of students and families is a rare find in NYC. As a parent, I always felt safe and welcome in the school, and found the home-to-school connection there to be practiced in a way that schools of all levels often only pay lip service to.
I have referred many colleagues and neighborhood residents to the Red Balloon, as I feel that it is a very special community oriented school where families of all configurations are celebrated, respected, and can feel like full partners in their children's early learning experiences.