Story Telling with Ms. Sara

Sara Nelkin, proud parent of two UCNS alumni, is the founder and lead teacher of Impulse City -- a creative play, storytelling and improvisational theater company in Hyattsville, MD.  Impulse City is best known for our week-long, high-quality, traditional day camps that focus on creative play, collaboration and building the imagination of our campers.  Sara also teaches several classes in local pre-schools and elementary schools during the school year.  In her classes, Sara encourages children to move, pretend, use their voices, work together and say "Yes" through improvisational theater techniques that have been adapted to work with very young children.  Through learning to improvise, all people, including small children, build essential Executive Function skills; like cognitive flexibility, working memory, self-regulation, and the ability to adapt to change. Children love to pretend and play these fun-filled games all while building life-long skills that have been proven to be a better predictor of academic success than measurements of IQ.  Classes and camps are literature based, active and imaginative, hands-on and sometimes messy.

More information about Impulse City is available at:


Music with MS. Ellen

Ms. Ellen is not only a UCNS parent (Jesse and Theo are both alumni of the school) but a music teacher with almost 30 years of experience.  Ellen started by teaching ear training and sight reading, then added voice, piano, and music appreciation, and after having children, she began teaching early childhood music classes.  Her teaching philosophy is rooted in the idea that children (and adults!) learn best through play, and when they have ownership of their own learning.  Music education not only teaches basic music skills, but also supports cognitive and social development in young children, keeps adults healthy, happy and mentally youthful, and promotes a sense of community.


Creative movement with ms. jessica

Jessica has been teaching creative movement in the metro area since 2005 and is passionate about helping children discover and explore their bodies and the world around them. She was trained by Joye Newman, MA to teach preschool creative movement for Kids’ Moving Company, a Bethesda-based creative movement studio. In 2017, she completed her Baby & Toddler Yoga Teacher Training through Childlight Yoga.  Her work with children is informed by Childlight and the Itty Bitty Yoga programs,  Joye's "in-synch" philosophy, and Magda Gerber's Educaring approach.

In addition to working with preschoolers, Jessica is also a registered massage practitioner and infant massage instructor. She has practiced massage for over eleven years and taught massage as part of a professional training program. Outside of the movement space and massage room, she enjoys cooking, knitting, sewing, kickboxing, and exploring outdoors with her daughter, a UCNS alum!