History of Sesame Sprout, Inc.

Sesame Sprout, Inc. is organized as a privately held organization located in a newly renovated location in Corona.  Sesame became one of the first community-based early childhood programs to receive approval from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to provide special education programs and services to preschoolers with disabilities.  Our determination to serve young students with disabilities had a special focus – we elected to integrate disabled students into every classroom.  We have provided services to Queens Preschools since 1984.  Sesame is also approved by NYSED as a special education provider for 3-5 years olds.  Our classes fully integrate students with and without disabilities.  In addition, Sesame provides extended day/year childcare and afterschool services to ACS voucher students and private pay children, and we have provided “UPK” (Pre-K for All) services through the NYCDOE since 1998 in both half-day and full-day sessions.  We currently serve approximately 165 children at our Horace Harding Expressway location; 95 of those are students with a disability.  We provide special instructional, bilingual and visual supports for the many Spanish speaking children and families we serve, as well as the full range of related services (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy and parent training) to our students with disabilities.


Sesame Sprout Preschool: Opening Young Minds to a World Of Learning


Sesame Sprout School aims to prepare students to live successful, healthy and productive lives.  We work to prepare them for later success in school and the larger diverse world community which awaits them.  We work to build strong intellectual, emotional and social foundations for our students, never losing sight of supporting their joyfulness, creativity, spontaneity and love of learning.  We dedicate ourselves to: developmentally-appropriate practices; individualization; nurturance; supporting the development of each student’s full potential; building competence and self-esteem in children; promoting pro-social skills and an appreciation of diversity.  We work collaboratively with families and strive to ensure that our interventions meet the highest standards of professionalism and accountability.


Sesame Sprout is laser-focused on instructional quality and emotional responsiveness in our interactions with children.  Our CLASS and ECERS-R scores have documented our success and informed our internal process of continuous improvement.  We have enthusiastically embraced professional development opportunities and worked assiduously through the process of professional supervision to apply what we have learned.  We are deeply invested in being respectful of all, celebrating diversity, building trust and maintaining positivity.  Our personnel are supported and encouraged to make intentional and data-driven instructional decisions which recognize the interests and strengths of every child.  Our approach and curricula are research-based, developmentally-appropriate and play-based.  Our classrooms are well-supplied, carefully prepared and attentively maintained.  We provide rich and varied learning experiences and enable active inquiry; we also encourage students to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways.  We have high expectations and set ambitious goals for all students, but we are equally intent on providing the adaptations, modifications and supports each individual child requires for success.  Sesame nurtures the behaviors and approaches (curiosity, initiative, persistence, etc.) which enables growth and learning.  Importantly, we value joy and creativity in the teaching and learning process for students, staff and families.


Sesame takes justifiable pride in their bright, clean, well-maintained space.  Safety and health are signature priorities in Sesame.  Our classrooms are attractive, well-equipped and encouraged active learning.  The space and furnishings are developmentally appropriate and feature clearly delineated learning centers.  Formal assessments of our classrooms document that they rank at the highest possible levels in terms of supporting student learning, especially in language and literacy.  Classrooms are print rich, filled with examples of student work and evidence of high level of awareness and appreciation of diversity.

Curriculum and Assessment:

Sesame’s teachers are focused on the NYS Preschool Learning Standards for all of our preschool students.  We utilize the New York City Department of Education’s 3K and Pre-K for All units of study, as well as components of the creative curriculum because it is aligned with the Learning Standards and provides a developmentally appropriate framework.  To support our children’s social-emotional and self-regulation development, we use the Second Step Early Learning Program, as we are committed to educating the whole child in a manner that respects each child’s unique development.  Sesame Sprout also utilizes the Building Blocks Preschool Math Curriculum, in collaboration with coaches from Bank Street College of Education.

The Creative Curriculum is designed for early childhood programs serving children ages 3-5.  Until the 20th century, little scientific attention was given to studying how children grow and develop.  In the past 75 years, however, research has provided a great deal of information about childhood as a separate and distinct stage of life with its own characteristics.  The application of this body of knowledge to teaching is called developmentally appropriate practice.  Put simply, developmentally appropriate practice means teaching in ways that match the way children experiment, problem-solve and discover the answer to higher-order questions, which aligns completely with the Creative Curriculum, which is appropriate for the multisensory manner in which toddlers and 3 year olds explore and learn about their environment.

We follow a daily schedule which balances active/quiet play, large/small group/individual instruction, and child initiated/teacher led activities.  Our early literacy program uses systematic and direct instructional interactions, but also promotes contextualized learning opportunities.  For students with disabilities we also adhere to their  Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and utilize each child’s strengths and interest areas to build their capacity in all areas of delay.  The Special Education training for our teachers helps them to minimize impediments to the success of  our students through careful implementation of behavioral management and differential instructional strategies for individual students.  We constantly refine our educational strategies and tailor instructional experiences to engage and challenge all students.  Sesame’s staff constantly shares ideas and observations with the families of our students, receiving and incorporating their input as well into our program’s interventions.  We carefully observe students and actively monitor their progress using a variety of observational and data collection tools and measures.  We use the information we gather to refine instructional approaches and adjust social and behavioral expectations.

Comprehensive Services:

Sesame works to link families with resources and services in the larger community.  We strive to meet the needs of young children by providing nutritious meals and snacks, careful health monitoring and an attentiveness to environmental safety.  As an agency we connect and collaborate with other organizations who can meet the diverse needs of our students’ families.  We provide translation services for families who are uncomfortable in English, we make every effort to increase the knowledge base and advocacy  skills of each family so that they can interact more successfully with the larger service system.

Parent Participation

The relationship between Sesame’s staff and the families of our students is especially strong.  Parents and staff members work to forge a strong home-school connection, and everyone shares ownership of the objective of helping each child maximize his/her potential.  Our interactions with families range from formal training and regular conferences to encourage families to take advantage of our “open door” approach, attending special events and participating by sharing their special talents, skill or cultural expertise with our classes.

Family Support

Support is provided to families through the classroom team and through our intake and parent coordinators.  Support is provided on an as-needed personal level to families, through 1:1 guidance and mentoring, approved parent training as per I.E.P. mandated, through engaging family workshops and relevant topics of interest, and through guided cultural outings into this diverse community.  Sesame proudly supports our Sesame Parent Group, which creates leadership and empowerment roles for families, which enable them to work together to identify and work jointly on causes of interest to support Sesame Sprout, its families and our community.