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What we love most about our work are the people we work with. We’re very proud of our natural play community here at Natural Pod and to celebrate some of the people in our community, we’ve started a short series we’re calling our Natural Play Community People Profiles. Short interviews with some of the great people leading the work of using natural play to inspire creativity, learning and compassion in our early learning, kindergarten, preschool and daycare communities.

Our featured Natural Play Community People Profile of the week is: Bluma Acocella, General Studies Kindergarten Teacher at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ.

Bluma contacted Natural Pod looking for a little something different for her two Full-day Kindergarten classrooms in New Jersey. She had come across images of our products online and decided to pick up the phone. Together we came up with a concept that met all her unique needs and created something new and exciting in the process. We needed a flexible and non-intrusive cubby alternative and our answer was a beautiful open design that flowed perfectly with the space.

Q: How long has Joseph Kushner been open, how many children and families do you support and what ages?

A: 60 years, 900 children aged 1-18 years old

Q: Tell us about your vision for your school – and how has the vision become a reality?

A: My vision is for the children to have a holistic learning environment where the wonder of childhood is supported and encouraged. The administration is encouraging changing our curriculum to be more developmentally appropriate and for teachers to receive training in this area.

Q: What impact do you want to see for the children?

More open ended play and creativity

Q: Why did you choose Natural Pod? What was so unique that you were inspired to contact us?

A: Eco friendly, natural materials, organic shapes, and furniture that met our needs( playstands..)

Q: What impact has the environment had on the children in terms of their learning?

A: They are self motivated and inspired.

Q: What is your favourite piece?

A: Our Loft

Q: How has the environment affected your educators?

A: They are beginning to realize the value of clean, simple and natural on creating a wholesome and rich atmosphere for learning.

Q: What does the future look like for Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy?

A: Good question! I do not know the answer :)

Q: How was your experience working with the Natural Pod team?

A: Great!