Preschools using the Reggio Emilia Approach
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Preschools using the Reggio Emilia Approach
My daughter (2.5) is currently at a school which says they emphasize play and a
child led program. However, I am findjg myself seeing the teachers showing her
how to play and use the art project. I am very specific on what I want for my
daughter: RIE principals would be great, but I haven't found that. Regio Emilia
would be great too, but not Duck's Nest on Piemont. I know many parents love it
there, but it is too large for us and there is too much teacher leading (for
me). I want something where my daughter can basically play and do things the
way she wants to. No circle time. Not even well meaning suggestions on how to
roll play dough into balls. She is an amazing learner and loves to discover
these things on her own.
Does anyone know of a small, very play based program like I have described?
Play Based mom
A truly excellent play based preschool is Blue Skies in Oakland (formerly
AOCS), a non-profit that offers infant care-preschool. It's based on Reggio
Emiliano and our daughter had a great experience in the almost five years
years she spent there. Our younger daughter went to the Child Study Center at
Berkeley, also an excellent play based program, but of the two I preferred
A Blue Skies fan
Check out the Play Yard in Berkeley on Blake, where my younger son went.
Denise is a genius who totally gets how preschool aged children learn -- play!
She is nature's gift to children.
Denise is somewhat Reggio-inspired, but not like other preschool programs that
claim to be Reggio or play-based but really are all about sending home the
kid's handprint with their name in glitter letters -- my older son attended
one of those, so I know exactly what you're talking about. Denise walks the
walk (or, should I say, plays the play!).
If you want a true play based program without the direction you noted in your
post, I highly recommend The New School.
If you want academics, this is not
the place. But if you want a place where kids get really messy, are only
directed away from activities that are unsafe or unkind, then this is the
place. There are so many fun things to do at New School--lots of water play,
huge sand box, lots of dress-up, art galore. And if your kid just wants to
play in the sand or play Legos for 3 hours because he/she is working out a
problem, this is the place for you. Its not small, but in the 2s program they
are kept separated from the bigger kids (3s/4s) for most of the day. For
parents, it can seem like chaos, but for kids it is a safe and organized chaos
that helps kids to play at their own pace.
Love the Play at New School
the imaginarium near the Children's Hospital. My friend runs it and my
daughter goes there. Huge backyard. The kids have many things to do. Organic,
home-cooked lunch and snacks. Cool, sporadic field trips and a teacher who
strongly believes in young children's inherent ability to learn by themselves
and each other.
The Room to Grow preschool in upper Rockridge. I recommend it highly! The
school uses the Reggio Emilia approach for the children to explore their world
through play. While my son was there the children led many projects such as
an elaborate water sculpture that evolved over many days, recreating scenes
and characters from favorite books and stories and art work using natural
materials. It's a small school with nurturing and fun teachers.
Reggio Emilia school in Albany, El Cerrito area?
I've recently discovered that what I find lacking in Montessori (which
my son currently attends) is available in a Reggio Emilia school. I've
toured a wonderful school in Rockridge, but it seems too far from our
home in Richmond to make it work. Our younger son is in a daycare in El
Cerrito. I'm wondering if there are any Reggio Emilia schools in the 80
corridor, especially around El Cerrito, Albany, or Richmond. I'm aware
of Duck's Nest and Aquatic Park School, but neither have full-time
openings. We are looking to start immediately. If anyone is aware of
another Reggio school with immediate full-time (8-6 M-F) openings,
please let me know. Thanks!!
Searching for the right school
I would like to recommend a school that is not in that geographic area but
is a Reggio Emelia-inspired school that I find totally worth the drive for
my daughter. I live farther than Richmond and drive to Oakland Garden School
because outdoor play and the Reggio experience are both very important to
me. I visited in the spring and my daughter and I both fell in LOVE with the
expansive outdoor grounds, the nature-based curriculum, and the beautiful
and magical classrooms. You will not find a school with a larger, more
stunning outdoor space, which includes egg-laying chickens and goats! It is
worth a look if you are truly interested in a Reggio curriculum. My
daughter, a gentle and somewhat shy soul, begs to go to school on the
weekends and comes home dirty and covered in paint. It is worth it for me to
make the drive for the one year she is in preschool before she starts
kindergarten. In full disclosure, since enrolling her, I have become a
parent volunteer and serve as the school's office coordinator.
Driving for the Reggio Experience
My daughter is 18 months old and I am looking into
preschools for her. I would like to start part time (maybe
mornings several days a week) then maybe increase her hours
the older she gets.
Specifically, I am looking for a Preschool with the
philosophy of Reggio-Emilia or Play with Structure. It
could be either in Berkeley or Oakland.
Your insights, advice, personal recommendations and thoughts
is a fantastic Reggio Emilia school. We've sent 3
happy kids there and the program is amazing.
If you are looking for a co-op, the only co-op for kids 18
months old in CA is Skytown
in Kensington. I started my daughter
there at 20 months and loved it (we are still there for her
final year before kindergarten. We lived in Oakland when
she started, but it was worth the drive! It incorporates
elements from Reggio and Montesourri and other play-based
methods. We are filling up spaces quickly, though, so if
you are interested, check it out!
Duck's Nest PreSchool in the East Bay Area is an
Emmergent/Project Approach school, inspired by the
Reggio Emillo Philosophy in Italy. Duck's Nest is also
very fortunate to has several male teachers at all locations.
Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows of a preschool that uses the
Reggio Emilia approach. I have been reading about it and am quite
The Old Firehouse School on Moraga Road in downtown Lafayette
follows the Reggio Emiglia approach. They take kids from
infancy through preschool age, and have both part-time and full-
time programs. You can reach them at 925-284-4321. The
director is Dorothy Stewart.
I think Via Nova uses Reggio Emilia, at least in part.
heard Aquatic Park Preschool billed themselves as Reggio
Association of Children's Services (AOCS)
Hearts Leap Preschool
Mills College Children's School
I've been checking out preschools and reading the archives but still
can't find what I'm looking for. Can anyone recommend a school that
has a lot of free play and creative activities, but accompanied by
very serious teacher facilatation? (a la Reggio Emilia). I also want
only three full days, and I'm a graduate student so price is an
issue. My child is three and I'm looking for the Fall. Thanks for any
ideas you might have.
Via Nova Preschool
this page was last updated: Dec 29, 2013
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