The Smarties Academy environment supports and encourages each child’s natural love of learning through several main philosophies.
Using a play-based approach and through a full Spanish immersion program we focus on developing the following:
Smarties Academy is located in Downtown City of Decatur. It has a rich green space that is used for outdoor play, including water play in the summer months and outdoor yoga. There are gardens where children learn to cultivate herbs and vegetables and these crops are also used in preparation of their meals.
Children are taught the importance of composting, recycling, and celebrate many activities throughout the year - such as Earth day, Water day, and other events that are designed to encourage and foster respect for nature. By recycling paper, glass, and plastic, the children are taught the importance of conserving items that can be reused again and again rather than thrown away.
In the summer Smarties Academy also hosts a local farmers stand where fresh delicious crops are sold to families in the local neighborhood.
Smarties Academy provides full Spanish immersion for children 6 weeks to 4 years of age. Children in the pre- K classrooms receive their instruction in Spanish and participate in an early reading program in both English and Spanish.
Approximately 40% of children at Smarties Academy come from an international or ethnic background and almost all of the teachers at the school are International. The culture and traditions of families and teachers is celebrated in many ways throughout the year. Families are invited to share foods, holiday observances, music, art, and stories from their country of origin with their child’s class and the entire school.
Smarties Academy is dedicated to providing the very best nutrition. Nutrition is critical for brain development, immunity, growth, and happiness! Smarties has an in-house chef that provides a daily organic breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Examples of the delicious menus can be found here. In addition to using organic foods, there is an emphasis on providing diverse, meals that incorporate foods rich nutrients and antioxidants that promote interest in nutrition, a willingness to try and explore new foods and encourage immunity.
Children in the older classrooms are provided meals family style, which helps them develop a range of skills including cooperation, table manners, fine and gross motor skills. They also participate in weekly cooking classes that are fun, encourage children to explore new foods, especially those grown in their garden, and learn skills that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Smarties Academy has several nutritional advisors that support the development of the menus. We also provide classes to parents interested in learning more about feeding for immunity and bringing meal times back to the family table.
In addition to these main principles Smarties Academy strives to provide the very best care through:
Smarties Academy began as in-home childcare in 2008. Word spread to Atlanta parents about the high quality curriculum and language program, the organic and nutrition focused environment, and just the tremendous love and support children receive from their teachers. Smarties expanded to a new, larger location in Decatur in April 2012.
Founder and Director Bogna Kabat has more than 14 years of experience providing the highest quality childcare to Atlanta families. As a mother herself, with both her children having attended Smarties, Bogna is dedicated to providing the children she cares for with a safe, nurturing environment where they can learn and grow at their own pace.
The teachers at Smarties provide each child with an engaging educational experience that supports their social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. Smarties Academy follows a professional curriculum based on a creative and bilingual approach to introduce and reinforce age-appropriate concepts and development.
Smarties Academy is staffed by professionals who all have experience in childcare education. Many of the staff also have graduate education in their home countries and bring a wealth of different experiences to the team. All teachers and staff at Smarties undergo a rigorous recruitment process and receive on-going training to develop and strengthen their skills. All staff members are certified in CPR, First Aid, and fire safety.
Hello, I’m Bogna Kabat, the Founder and Director of Smarties Academy. Eight years ago I became a mother, and like many parents I faced a difficult choice as to where my child should be cared for when I went back to work. Although there were many choices available, none had quite what I was looking for. I wanted a home away from home, where I had complete faith that my child was receiving love, stimulation, and education in a safe environment which was free of chemicals and processed foods. I was not able to find anything that met my needs and as a result Smarties Academy was born.
Begun as a tiny, in-home childcare in the ground floor of my home, Smarties Academy has grown and strengthened and I am proud that we now have a wonderful facility in Decatur where many children and their families belong. Although the school has grown, we are still able to offer the same intimate environment that was possible when Smarties first began. Both of my two girls have been educated at Smarties and I know that while there are many great schools, there is nowhere quite like Smarties.
My vision is that every child here at Smarties feels safe and happy as they learn through a variety of play-based activities determined by their own interest and at their own pace. Each day offers something new and surprising. This is an exciting time and we invite you to consider sharing these early years with us at Smarties Academy.
Founder and Executive Director