The Jackson Family, The Phebe Anna Thorne School
This Bryn Mawr family found the perfect preschool right around the corner.
Jessie and Evan Jackson moved to this area from the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 2016, with a 2-year-old in tow and a baby on the way. Evan is from Philadelphia, so they considered a wide range of places to live and had researched tons of preschools.
When they moved in five minutes from the Phebe Anna Thorne campus at Bryn Mawr College, Jessie wasn’t sure she’d be able to get a spot for her daughter, Athena. A year later, she still feels lucky to have landed at Thorne, which offers programs for toddlers (ages 2-3) and preschoolers (ages 3, 4, and 5) as well as early intervention, language enrichment programs, and a full-day kindergarten.
“It just felt like it was meant to be,” Jessie said.
“It was everything I wanted, and it was close to our home, and we could tell that it was going to be the perfect thing. And it turned out it was.”
Thorne was Athena’s first school experience, and the play-based curriculum appealed to Jessie, a former educator. They’re 2, Jackson thought — playing is what kids that age should be doing.
But Jessie said she quickly discovered that while the obvious emphasis was on play, the real emphasis is on the social and emotional development of children, which is what drives Thorne’s curriculum.
“I started to realize that the program is more unique than I expected,” she said.
There is a routine to the class and there are many activities presented, but there’s also a freedom within those activities for each child to learn and express themselves at their own pace.
“The thing that I love about Thorne is it’s just all exploratory,” Jessie said. “If there’s an art activity set up, you can do it, or not. Maybe they have a snowman cut out, and you can decorate it or you can just make something else with the pieces.
“It’s not like everyone has to put the hat on the head, which is so important to me, because they have the rest of their educational career to put the hat on the head.”
Want to know more?
Visit Phebe Anna Thorne online, or meet us at the
November 4, 11 am — 2 pm
The NEW St. David’s Episcopal Day School
765 S. Valley Forge Road, Wayne
11 am — 2 pm
Photographs by Jean Goins.