According to research, an important aspect of any early childhood learning program is creating an environment that enables children to develop relationships with each other as well as the world around them.
At Metro United Way’s Excellence Academy early learning centers (EA), supported in partnership with Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) and the Lift a Life Foundation, teachers are encouraged to use the Reggio Emilia approach, an innovative educational philosophy which uses the environment as the “third teacher” for children to learn and thrive. In this approach, it is important that the classroom’s environment sparks curiosity and imagination for children to explore and learn.
One of these centers, The Children’s Learning Center at Goodwill of Southern Indiana, recently transformed unused space into an art and light room area to offer children activities that are “invitations” to play. In this space, they can explore and exercise their critical thinking skills in math, science, art and language development. Inspired by the Reggio approach, the rooms create a welcoming, natural, homelike environment while the teachers act as observers and provide natural materials to encourage children to use all of their senses.
After the transformation, this space is has an intentional use for children where they are able to show their competence in constructing their own learning!
Metro United Way is proud of the significant achievements being made at all of our Excellence Academy early learning centers, helping our preschoolers enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school and in life.