All Around Child, Center for Exploration and Development first opened its doors on August 9th, 2004 as a family owned, operated, and oriented center serving children ages 2 weeks to 12 years of age. My lifelong passion and ambition was always working with children. From the time I was just a young girl with a love for babies, to the time that I graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with my BA in Human Development and Family Studies, I knew that this was my future. Even now that I have been educating children and teachers for over 20 years, I find myself continuously being “re-inspired” by the daily ah-hah moments and the giggles and smiles on children’s faces as they explore this ever changing world. I am inspired by their simple creations that turn into huge accomplishments, and I am inspired by the dedication that their teachers have to making a difference in the lives of the children they are present with every day.
As a program, All Around Child has consistently offered families a unique home away from home over the years. Our curriculum is strongly based on educational achievement, the development of well-rounded social skills, and an introduction to the arts. Our state-of-the-art facilities are not only child friendly, safe, and inviting but also fun and full of constant adventure. Our philosophy of teaching children is to encourage them to become “World Wise” by introducing them to science, math, literacy, physical education, the arts, and social studies through a hands-on play-based framework for learning. Our program has remained unique because we are constantly being inspired by the children. By their passion to discover something new, to build something beyond their wildest imaginations, and to see that they can do almost anything they want to if they only try. It is that passion that over the years has brought us to the influence of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.
Unlike standardized curriculum models, the Reggio approach to Early Childhood is not a model that is intended to be copied. The intent is that Reggio schools are to act as a mirror in which other schools can see themselves in. As we look at our reflection, we challenge our assumptions and question our practice. There are many approaches to early childhood education, and as educators we must choose from the possibilities. If we know that children are born with amazing potential and capacities to learn, what kind of schools and what kind of teachers do we need to foster those capacities?
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