Tree of Life Preschool at Kol Shalom

Now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026  school years!

We offer 2-, 3-, and 5-day per week options, with both part- and full-day schedules. For more details, contact Allison Charapp, director, at 443-871-4126.

Kol Shalom opened the doors to our Tree of Life Preschool in September 2015 for children ages 3, 4, and 5. Our preschool is nature-based, the fifth of its kind to open in Maryland, and utilizes the wonderful outdoor space and setting that surrounds our synagogue. Our preschool wing features a state-of-the-art building with new furnishings and learning materials. You can read more about our preschool in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the Annapolis Capital Gazette.

Check out our free parent-child classes for 2-year-olds! Registration required.

Preschool Director

Allison I Charapp, M.Ed. has been teaching for over 30 years and is the Director of Education at Kol Shalom in Annapolis, MD. In 2015, Allison opened Tree of Life Preschool – a nature preschool – to teach Jewish traditions and their connection to nature. Having built a strong following, the program is now flourishing and has become a model for other communities, solidifying her expertise in the field of nature education. She also holds a BA in Theatre and training in AMI Montessori, Orton-Gillingham, and Reggio Emilia. Allison is currently working with the Advisory Committee to implement Maryland’s HB525, creating a Pilot Program for Nature Preschools under the Dept. of Education – the second of its kind in the country.

Educational Philosophy

The work of the young child is great work – it is important work and we are able to serve the child through offering an environment that inspires exploration, engages curiosity, and nurtures spiritual growth based on the teachings of Judaism. Nature is the platform we have chosen to guide your child into the world of today. Everything we do and we learn connects back to nature, whether it is on the surface of our planet, in the air around us, or beyond the stars we can see. As adults it is our mission to open doors through language, experience, prayers, and traditions to further strengthen the bonds to nature, humanity, and God. Learning to be in nature, to work in nature, to care for nature, and to respect nature all directly link our children to the relationships we want for them to have with each other and the world around them. Our days will be spent outside as much as possible either in our playspace or in our outdoor classrooms, both allowing discovery, focused exploration, and uninterrupted play.