Jessica Anderson, Lehman Alumna, Provides a Model Site for UPK Initiative


Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 4.13.09 PMKiderific Nursery School is a private school in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx that serves children from 2 to 5 years of age.  Jessica Anderson graduated from the Lehman College Early Childhood Education Program in May 2009 and is owner, director, and head teacher at Kiderific.  In 2010, Kiderific obtained a contract with the City of New York to provide Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) classes and in 2014 expanded to provide a full day UPK program. Kiderific’s partnership with the New York City Department of Education afforded the school the opportunity to participate in the Work Sampling System, an exemplary research-based authentic assessment system, in which students’ progress is documented through anecdotal records and student work.

The Kiderific curriculum consists of thematic units that directly connect to the Common Core State Standards.  The teachers address specific standards and work towards School Readiness Goals in their activities and lessons.  The Kiderific curriculum addresses seven domains: social/emotional, language/literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and physical/health.  The data from The Work Sampling System is then used to determine how students specifically and Kiderific generally are progressing toward meeting School Readiness Goals. The Kiderific curriculum provides guidance for differentiating teaching for students with special behavior, linguistic, or learning needs.  Each child is allowed to develop at his/her own pace.

In addition to her roles at Kiderific, Jessica is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Early Childhood/Childhood Education Department at Lehman College.  Her Lehman education has provided her with the tools both to grow her Kiderific program and to give back to the School of Education.  New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña recently acknowledged Jessica’s hard work at Kiderific and dedication to early childhood education during a visit to the school.

Pictured (left to right): Amanda Herrera, Alissa Rivera, Maria Noll, Carmen Fariña, Jessica Anderson, Stephanie Rivera