February 5, 2014

To Whom It May Concern,

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter in support of Marla Askenasi and her ability to provide outstanding programming for infants and children.

I remember looking for my eldest child’s first educational and childcare experience. Still new to parenting, I was filled with trepidation and worry about who I could entrust to care for my little girl.  I researched my options and was impressed with the large number of recommendations I heard on behalf of Marla.

When my daughter began in “Marla’s class,” I immediately knew that all my fears were unfounded. I was confident that she was truly in the most optimal environment. As a result, when it came time for my two sons to attend a preschool program, there was no question that they too would go to “Marla’s class”.

Marla possesses an incredible wealth of experience and has a deep understanding of the developmental needs of young children. The daily activities which she provides are planned and responsive to each child's interests, strengths and needs. Each child’s uniqueness is embraced by Marla. She opens her heart and adores all of her students. Marla values the qualities that each child possesses and what she or he has to offer others.

Another unique strength which Marla brings to her work is the personal connection she makes with families. Marla understands that the children who come to her are part of a family system. She endeavors to make meaningful bonds with the important people in every child’s life. Family members are always welcomed to her class. Marla has a strong connection to each of my children, even though almost 10 years have passed since she was their teacher.

Years later, I have contacted Marla to seek her advice on parenting and educational choices for my children as I know that she holds them in high esteem and will offer non-judgmental advice. As an educator, I also have learned many valuable lessons from Marla. Her knowledge and insight have informed and guided me tremendously in my own work with children.

In summary, I wish to convey that choosing to place your child under Marla’s supervision is truly the best decision you can make. Marla’s ability to meet every child where they are at will ensure that your child will flourish in her care.

Warmest Wishes,
Gayle Grossman-Bly OCT, M.Ed.

 

 

As the mother of 4 children and a child and family therapist for the past 20 years, I have encountered and worked with many wonderful teachers.  Few have compared to Marla Askenasi, a truly talented early childhood educator. Marla’s sound pedagogical point of view informs  her practice with remarkable results in terms of promoting a creative, caring and compassionate classroom environment, independence in her young students and healthy interactions between the children.  All four of my sons had the privilege of having Marla as their very first teacher.  Their first experience at school was overwhelmingly positive; they felt loved, understood and well cared for, enabling them to separate confidently and delve in this brand new experience called school. I too benefited from Marla’s wisdom; 13 years ago, as a young new mother, I was incredibly grateful for the important guidance and modeling Marla provided.  Her approach to working with very young children has continued to inform my own parenting as well as my professional practice with children and families. 

Elissa Kline-Beber

 

 

My daughter Kate could not have had a better start in school.
Marla was so warm and welcoming.  In no time at all, Marla had established a routine with the kids.
Every day was a new experience.  The crafts and the discovery tables were always exciting and engaging.
I was thrilled when my son was able to spend his first year of school with her.  She was able to prepare them both for a structured day in class in a loving environment.
She made washing hands before snack time a fun and anticipated event!!
To this day, my kids still talk about how much they love Marla.

Dara Rames

 

 

My 3 daughters attended Marla's program and all I can say is that she is absolutely exceptional! Her focus is the children, allowing them to explore through play and of course, safety! She is very responsive to each individual child and allows them to grow independently, giving them the tools they need to do so at such a young and fragile age. She guides them to solve their own problems, giving them future problem solving skills. She is caring, loving, gentle and FUN! At the ages of 8, 7 and 5, they still talk about "Marla's School"!

Jennifer Schiavo

 

 

An exceptional pre-school teacher will have many outstanding qualities. The job requires lots of energy to interact with these 2 year olds. Marla possess these qualities of knowledge, patience, and exuding loving kindness. She is patient and respectful to both the children and their parents, and is extremely cognizant of each child's level of ability. She seems to have the ability to notice the potential in each child. I was fortunate to have her teach 2/3 of my children (as I had not discovered the program until my second). She inspired me to be a better parent, and I am forever grateful for her insights. My kids now 22, 20, and 17, talk about her all the time. And although my eldest did not attend the pre-school with her, they have a relationship that continues today. All 3 of my children have volunteered to help her at the pre-school over the years, and I myself visited often just to be in the presence of her sunny disposition.

Diane Betel

 

 

Marla is a warm and caring individual, who gave my children a safe, nurturing, and loving first school experience. She created an environment to explore, play, and create that facilitates the children use to express themselves and learn through all of their senses. Her creativity is remarkable and her calm and uplifting demeanor establishes an environment that stands above all in early childhood education.  Marla has set the bar high, and the memories and experiences my children have with her will last them a lifetime.

Jayne Elman (mom of Jillian 16, Madeline 14, and Eli 7)

 

 

I have two children who attended Marla’s Tiny Tots and/or “Planet Viewmount.”  Marla has a natural gift with children.  She is genuinely interested in them as people – little, REAL people.  She connects with them.  She notices what makes each child unique and she creates opportunities for the children to explore these qualities through personalized activities.  For example, my daughter really loved to be a “mommy” and Marla had a program whereby she would get duck eggs from a farm that would be brought to the program to incubate.  Seeing the eggs, the kids were enraptured.  Each day, they checked on them until they began to show signs of hatching.  As they were about to hatch, Marla called us outside of program hours to come over so that the duckling would see my daughter and think of her as the “mama duck.” And so it was.  We got to take a few ducklings home – they swam in our bath tub.  They waddled in our yard.  My daughter fed them and explored them from all angles.  It was really something.  And in good time, Marla returned them to the farm.  This is just one example of how Marla goes out of her way to explore a child’s natural interests.  This is the juicy memory-making stuff that family life is all about.  It’s not just about “day care:” Marla creates experiences.    

Tamara Darchiville 

 


Leaving a two year old child for their first drop off experience can be stressful for the child and the parent. Marla Askenasi made our experience emotionally positive. She was warm and loving and treated the children with respect and kindness. Both Matthew and Emily looked forward to attending Marla's program each week. Her bond with our family continues to this day and my youngest child is now almost 17. Marla is the best!!!

Lissie Sanders

 

 

Through Marla's guidance, my daughter learned how to think for herself, how to stand up for herself and most importantly, that she was loved and important....even though she was just 2. But most importantly, I learned so many lessons about parenting my children respectfully by watching her.  I will forever be grateful.

Liat Burnstein-Bogdan

 

 

We sent our older daughter to Marla's program a couple of years ago at the recommendation of a friend. It was one of the best recommendations we've ever had. Marla was great to and for our daughter. Marla was so caring and friendly while also being firm in just the right amount. Our daughter learned so much during her time there. She learned to be self-aware as well as aware of others. She learned compassion and built self-esteem. She learned creativity and expression. She gained an appreciation of nature, art, music and so much more.  Marla also has a gift for somehow being aware of all the kids in the room at the same time. She would always know if someone was struggling with something or needed help. It is so obvious that Marla sincerely cares for the kids. It comes across in the way she talks to them and about them. Her progress reports on how our daughter was getting along were great resources for us. Overall, we felt so fortunate to have had our 2 year old under Marla's caring attention and guidance. We would not hesitate to recommend her to any other parents and we're delighted to provide this recommendation letter for her.

Simone & Gary

 

 

All 3 of my children went to the 2 year old program that Marla used to run.  Each of them flourished under her care and I was so comfortable dropping them off with her each morning knowing they would not only be safe, but they also would learn and be stimulated. Each of my kids had such different personalities, and Marla knew exactly how to best help them to develop their unique traits. Not only did my kids flourish there, but the program was the talk of the neighbourhood and so would acquire long wait lists.

I worked closely with Marla on the administrative side as well ( her former program was a co-op), and observed how well she handled parent interactions and logistical issues that arose. When the city- run building had unforeseen closures, Marla quickly worked to ensure contingency plans were put in place. And, as she and I liaised quite often with the city, I saw how resourceful and respectful she was even in tense situations.

I recall being especially impressed how Marla found the good in every child and / or situation. Children that were labelled as troublemakers elsewhere were viewed by her as children with fascinating personalities waiting to be unleashed. As an example, my son was deemed mischievous and unruly by another preschool, yet Marla created a special box/ shelf dumping area for him in her program and it worked like a charm. He could dump and make a mess but could keep it contained. She let kids have controlled autonomy and each of them adored her. She formed fantastic bonds with each child - and by association with the parents, many of whom still email her for parenting advice!
-Janie, mother of 3