An Interview with Nelly Tuman, Founder and Director
In a rambling ranch house in a quiet San Jose neighborhood, the children at Creative Beginnings Preschool Center are spending their days in a homelike environment while they learn, play and grow to be the best they can be.
Nelly Tuman, owner and director of Creative Beginnings, came to United States in 1980 with two small children and a university degree in education. “Because I had always been interested in childhood education, I pursued an additional degree in childhood development and began teaching,” Nelly reminisces.
“Before I knew it, I had gone from a teacher’s aide, to a teacher and then I spent five years as a school director. Then I knew I was ready to open my own school.” She opened Creative Beginnings in March 1993 after remodeling a home just enough to make it efficient for school use while still retaining the homey atmosphere.
"Children feel right at home"
“I love children” she exclaims. I want them to be happy, secure and have the best of everything, so I’m investing a lot in the school.” The large backyard sports a trike path that takes little bikers on a full circle tour. There is a large covered tan bark area for games, picnic tables under a giant covered patio, a sandbox and a climbing structure.
Amidst the trees and the toys the children look and feel right at home.
"Our teachers are exceptionally well-trained"
Nelly chooses her teachers very carefully. Majority of her teachers have stayed with her for years.” Our teachers are exceptionally well-trained, but more important; they’re inherently warm and loving. With them, the children feel secure and never lonely.”
Creative Beginnings offers two, three, four or five, full, extended or half day programs for children 2 to 5 year olds. From 7:00am, when the school opens, till 9:00am, children enjoy free play, where they can explore, make choices, think, wonder and interact with other children and adults. After circle time, the children break into groups where they experience an age –appropriate curriculum.
"Each child is unique"
“Children are grouped by age: the 2 year old, younger 3s, older 3s, four and five (Jr.K)”she says. “We use monthly themes and centers to help teach science, math concepts, phonics, art, music, cooking, gymnastics and more.” Throughout the day, the children are encouraged to develop their independence skills and to help each other.
“I believe that each child is unique,” Nelly asserts. “They have individual needs and need individual attention. At Creative Beginnings, we meet these needs so that the children can grow to be the best they can be.