From the moment I touched down at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, I knew it was going to be an awesome trip. Director, Ms. Shelly Sender, welcomed me with her warm hospitality and kindness at the airport. The Assistant Director, Michele Aronson, and the wonderful staff and teachers at Temple Emanu-EL Early Childhood Center were inviting, pleasant and very helpful The school is the most extraordinary early childhood center I have ever laid my eyes upon. From thoughtfully curated art and nature ateliers , to beautifully landscaped and child friendly designed outdoor spaces, to sustainable vegetable and herb gardens, to a chicken coop housing 21 hens which provides eggs that the children collect daily for a food bank and their families, to creatively curated spaces that bring the outside in and the inside out, I was enthralled and captivated by such innovation, artistry, and creativity. These spaces set the stage for exploration, discovery and inquiry learning for children from six months to five years of age. This is a exemplar for any school who wishes to emulate a Reggio Children framework from Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers eagerly explored and learned new ways of presenting provocations aligned to developing literacy, math, science and social skills for their students. The three C’s -Collaboration, communication and capacity building was the overarching theme for two days of professional learning. The spirit of teamwork permeated throughout the day with curriculum writing, purposeful block play and sharing best practices in an inquiry based setting.
As a facilitator, I learned learned hands-on about the Reggio Children approach from a talented and creative cadre of teachers on how to authentically develop a Reggio Emilia framework that can be successfully implemented and sustained in classrooms and schools across the US. The Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood center is clearly a Reggio Children model school for US schools to emulate.
I can’t wait to come back to Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Center and work with such a professional, passionate and conscientious group of educators!