KE Kids at Play

Our parents write…

My 5 year old is a November boy, so he misses the cutoff for kindergarten. There are enough kids like him here so a wonderful teacher named Mrs. Tyree has started a kind of preschool plus -- where the kids are moving towards reading and counting and getting a bit of Spanish but in just over a half day. Yesterday they performed their class play -- a tour through the Solar System. Each kid wore a large cutout identifying the planet he or she "was" -- and in turn they each gave some information about how hot or cold, large or small, they were. And then after Nepture spoke the teacher (wearing the Sun cutout) asked, where is Pluto, what about Pluto? There was a buzz of faux disagreement, then each kid had to make a case -- is Pluto a planet, yes or no, and why?

Now the default mode was -- "it is not a planet but I still want to include it" -- which was very well suited to the age of the kids. But in the car afterwords I asked my son why he said that and he admitted that he'd lied -- he really didn't think it was a planet. Why? "Too small, too weak" (which may say more about his scale of values than the solar system). Still the teacher had gotten these 5 year olds thinking about scientific disagreement, and about how to present and weigh evidence. If she can do it with spinning kids wearing cutouts -- classes at every age can and should take up the baton -- to debate causes and consequences of just about everything. Which then, of course, opens the door for authors to have points of view -- since we are training kids to develop their own, and to learn how to discuss and evaluate together.

Marc Aronson


Dear Laurie,

We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate what you and Marianne have done for Parker this past year in your Kinderenrichment program. His academic and social growth in the classroom have been significant and we attribute that in no small part to the environment that you have created.

Coming out of preschool, Parker was gregarious, friendly and very athletically inclined; but there were a few areas that we were hoping to help him improve. While not "trouble" spots, we were a bit concerned that his handwriting, his ability to utilize fine motor skills, and his desire to sit and focus on art projects and schoolwork needed some attention before he entered elementary school. While he was old enough to go to Kindergarten in the public school (his birthday being in late July), we felt that a smaller class and a motivating, challenging curriculum would be the best environment to start off his success in school. After a year with you, and in no uncertain terms, the areas we were concerned about are all now strong suits for him.

Your classroom layout, daily routine and the desirable student to teacher ratio were all key factors in his growth over the past year. The time you build into the kids’ schedule to allow them to explore, build, create, and work together on projects has allowed Parker to see what he is capable of. He loves his outside time with his classmates to run around and play games which educates them socially. He is also excited about what he is doing in the classroom whether it is science, art, music, Spanish, math, poetry, writing, rhyming, etc. You have created such wonderful methods to teach these lucky kids.

Parker loves going to school and appreciates what he is learning and all of the friends he has become so close to. He has developed a great work ethic, he is more willing to take risks, and has achieved a great sense of accomplishment in writing, reading, and all of his schoolwork. We believe he is starting off his school years on the right foot after having the special experience he had in your classroom.

Should anyone wish to speak with either of us about Parker's time at Kinderenrichment, we would be more than happy to sing your praises. Thank you for all that you have done for him this year!

Best wishes,
Zach and Amy Chapman


Choosing Kinderenrichment was hands down, one of the best parenting decisions we have ever made. Laurie and Marianne approach students as a collection of individuals as opposed to a bunch of kids. Consequently our daughter received the purposeful, personalized attention that helped her come out of her shell and develop a sense of excitement for both learning and playing! We’re thrilled to have been a part of the Kinderenrichment community and highly recommend it to any parent looking to provide their child a running start to school and life!

Aimee and Jim Lally


Dear Mrs. Tyree and prospective Kinderenrichment families,

Our experience with Kinderenrichment has been so rich; I really don’t know where to start. Because my daughter misses the kindergarten cut-off, I researched a number of options for “kindergarten equivalent” private programs. Not only was the price for Kinderenrichment one of the most competitive, upon visiting I felt immediately that the environment was the most like an elementary school kindergarten class. The curriculum is thoroughly thought-out, complete with academic units, field trips, performances, hands-on research, homework, art, music, movement – you name it! Each student seems to be met at his or her individual level, academically, artistically, and socially, and encouraged to branch out to grow in the areas that need the most development.

Parents are included in the process with regular e-mail communication, field trip chaperone opportunities, regular assessment conferences, and a few minutes at drop-off and pick-up that provide a window into the world Mrs. Tyree and Ms. Marianne have created for and with the children.

My daughter, frequently and unsolicited, talks about how much she loves her school and how much she will miss it when the year comes to an end. She has made new friends and shared play dates with nearly all her classmates. Her academic skills, which were strong to begin with, have skyrocketed during the school year. More importantly, some of her social and physical skills that needed improvement have clearly developed for the better during her time at Kinderenrichment. If this class extended into higher grades, we would certainly look for a way to keep her here – she loves it!

An unexpected benefit: the environment at Kinderenrichment has also allowed the parents to connect. The children have access to the school’s playground after dismissal and when the weather allows, nearly everyone spends another hour there, visiting and playing. I have been very grateful for the personal, and even professional connections that have come from our involvement with Kinderenrichment.

Having done the footwork before choosing a private kinder program, and now having experienced this one first hand, I do not hesitate to recommend Kinderenrichment as the very best in the area. Any family that chooses to send their child to this program will be giving him or her an invaluable gift!

Vanessa Parvin


Dear Laurie and Marianne,

This time last year I was nervous. My son, who is young for his grade, was to start kindergarten in the fall. I was concerned that a full school day would be too long for him, and Maplewood/South Orange schools no longer offer a half-day program. Private kindergarten didn't seem appealing either, since the application process can be onerous and the cost prohibitive.

Our friend was looking into Kinderenrichment for her son, so I decided to check it out. Although our visit was good, I still wasn't sure. Making that decision for your child is hard. In the end, we decided to try it out.

Seven months along, I can say that it was a wonderful decision. Our son goes to school happily every day and participates in the friendly, cohesive unit you have made in your classroom. Our son is sometimes shy and can have a hard time making new friends, but within 2 days was almost as comfortable at school as at home. He quickly made friends with all the children and loves and respects his teachers.

He went into the class not reading, and is now reading beginning reader books without help. His math skills have moved ahead solidly, and they are already working with number families of addition and subtraction. He routinely uses Spanish phrases at home, and occasionally will strike a yoga pose or sing a new song for us. But what I am most excited about is the time and energy put into the science curriculum at Kinderenrichment. My son comes home excited about a new science idea every week. At our last dinner with grandma, he sang her a song listing the planets of our solar system in order. He is learning new concepts like a sponge, and as the public schools have so little time and money for science these days, this is invaluable. His teachers work with him in imaginative, but tangible ways.

We are truly delighted that we found Kinderenrichment. My only regret is that Laurie and Marianne don't have an associated first grade!


Adrianna Donat


We have been thrilled with our daughter Sophie's experience at Kinderenrichment. The gentleness of the small class size and shorter day has allowed for a smooth transition from her entirely play-centered experience at preschool to one that includes an academic focus.

Laurie Tyree has created a magical environment in the classroom, one that celebrates the joy of learning. She expertly weaves the arts into all aspects of the learning process, from music and visual art to drama. But what has helped our daughter to thrive the most is the deep sense of respect that Laurie has shown her. She appreciates Sophie for the individual that she is, and uses her many years of experience as a teacher to find ways to continually challenge her.

Our daughter would have readily adapted to a full day kindergarten, but we felt it unnecessary. We are overjoyed that we found Laurie Tyree's program. Sophie has grown in leaps and bounds--academically, creatively, and socially. She will be well prepared for first grade, and I think she'll remember with great fondness her experience at Kinderenrichment for many years to come. We certainly will, too.

We have deep gratitude to Laurie for the truly wonderful experience she has afforded our daughter this year.

Debbie Ferraro & Richard Kessler


Kinderenrichment has been a wonderful experience for my son. He loves to go to school and has been enriched by all aspects of a creatively developed classroom and curriculum. In addition to a fabulous curriculum that includes letters, numbers, vocabulary, math, writing, Spanish, science, and the solar system, he builds, draws, paints, takes care of classroom pets, has a daily job, does yoga, has music instruction, gardens, plays on the playground or in “the big room”, and goes on many interesting field trips that include plays, the Liberty Science Center and nature hikes. I couldn’t have asked for a better environment for my son for this year.

Amelia Reikenberg


KE Playground


To Whom it May Concern,

As a parent whose daughter is currently enrolled in Laurie Tyree’s Kindergarten at the Baird Program. It is easy to recommend Laurie as a Kindergarten Teacher and an individual who has found her calling. Her patience, genuine love for teaching and creativity of the moment has expanded my daughter’s world, given her confidence and ignited a love for learning. My hope is that every student should be touched by a teacher of this caliber.

On a daily basis I witness her student’s excitement for their day. They are seamlessly learning through their play and playing while they learn. Laurie Tyree has an amazing ability to personalize the daily classroom lesson towards each student’s own learning level and adjust accordingly. Some of my favorite moments are the “after school pick up time”, and seeing the daily 3 dimensional sculpture projects that have been built during the class. They are awesome and will be rebuilt the next day but it is all part of the process. The excitement and eagerness of the kids returns every morning and is boundless. A typical Friday afternoon for me, is often met with the question “when is school again?” from my oldest daughter.

If there is a need for any further discussion about Laurie Tyree and her program, I would love to continue the conversation. She is a Teacher I am willing to follow and trust with the education my next daughter when the moment arises.


Krystina J. Mahoney


To Whom It May Concern:

We would like to express our appreciation for Laurie Tyree's kindergarten class this year.  Our daughter Julia has thrived in an environment that is individualized to her as a young student, where she is nurtured and encouraged to try new ways of learning.  Laurie's professionalism and dedication to her job is evident in everything about the class, from the moment the students are greeted at the door to Spanish lessons, from report cards to field trips.  Her lessons are thoughtful and each activity seems carefully planned while at the same time is seamless and joyful for the students.  Julia looks forward to going to school every day.  We highly recommend her class to all of our peers.


Jane Perry


To Whom It May Concern:

Laurie Tyree’s half day Kindergarten program is amazing and is a valuable option for parents whose kids are not yet ready for full day kindergarten. My daughter made the cut off for entering kindergarten by 2 weeks this year.  She is a very sweet and sensitive girl.  My husband and I were really worried about her well being if we were to enroll her in the full day kindergarten class the public schools offer.  It also didn't feel right to send her to another year of preschool.  Laurie's program solved all of our problems and it was affordable.  

My daughter has thrived under Laurie's guidance.  She is doing very well.  We are so proud of her.  Best of all, SHE is proud of herself and really enjoys school.  It was important to us that she have a positive start to school and Laurie has made that possible.

Laurie is also very affective in her communications to parents.  She is good at letting us know what she needs us to do at home.  I appreciate her guidance.


Hilary Andrieni


KE Blocks


To Whom It May Concern:

I highly recommend Laurie Tyree’s Kindergarten program. I have known Laurie since 2003 when she was an educator for my oldest of three children. Laurie has since educated all three of my children.

Laurie has a wonderful rapport with her students. Her ability to connect with her students and her talent and creativity at teaching a variety of concepts are always superior. She has excellent written and verbal communication skills with the parents and is extremely organized. She always exhibits a positive attitude toward all the children and embraces all of their successes.

I would recommend Laurie to you. She has a joyful positive approach to learning and her love of teaching is very obvious. She organizes a well-rounded program for Kindergarteners that far exceeds other programs.


Bonnie Czukoski


To Whom It May Concern:

We are extremely pleased with our son’s kindergarten experience in Laurie Tyree’s class. Mrs. Tyree truly understands and implements differentiated education by offering many ways to approach new topics. She understands our son’s energetic learning style and offers many kinesthetic approaches that challenge his thinking and channel his energy. In only one of many inspiring examples, Mrs. Tyree set up a project where the children determined the length and width of their classroom. They worked together and created a lengthy series of connective blocks in groups of ten. Our son was energized and excited by this idea and still enjoys talking about how he and his classmates arrived at an answer. As a result of such classroom experiences he is excited about math and progressing well into first grade lessons.

While recognizing that some repetition is necessary in learning, Mrs. Tyree keeps children engaged by offering alternatives if boredom sets in. When our son was getting frustrated with his writing and drawing homework for the letter of the week, Mrs. Tyree realized that he needed more of a challenge. He now writes a “silly sentence” with three words for the letter of the week. He approaches this lesson as a game, rather than as a hassle, and often ends up writing two or three sentences to accomplish his goal of making his teacher laugh. At his choosing, our son will now sit down and write letters and messages to family and friends.

At pick up time, Mrs. Tyree enthusiastically welcomes parents and caregivers to come and take a look at their child’s creations which are all around the room in many forms—blocks, k’nex, animal villages, collages etc. Her infectious joy in working with kindergarten children and her pride in their accomplishments spreads around the room.

By Mrs. Tyree encouraging and nurturing our son’s creativity and challenging him at his individual level, he emerged as a confident leader in his classroom. As a younger brother who often deferred to his older brother with regards to reading and sounding out words, Mrs. Tyree encouraged his abilities and he now reads books on his own. Our son’s confidence in his math and reading skills as well as his eagerness to share his knowledge and ideas with others make him well prepared for first grade. Laurie Tyree’s teaching and guidance will leave a positive and lasting impression on our son.

Very truly yours,

Julie and Andrew Campbell