“The Early Childhood Program at Friends is awesome.” -Mary, mother of Anna

Short intro text (3-4 lines) that sum up the farmhouse program

The Approach

Inspired by the Schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy

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The Experience

Developing Creative Thinkers Who Are Prepared to Learn

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The Curriculum

Based in Exploration and Discovery

Our Reggio Emilia-inspired Language Arts program is guided by many essential questions, including:

  • How do we acknowledge and hone the “hundred languages” for communication that is a two-way interactive process of representing and interpreting signs and symbolic systems?
  • How do we use Language Arts as a tool to communicate and promote social justice?
  • How do collaborative inquiry, project-based learning, and multimedia documentation provide practical ways to develop communicative literacy?
  • How can our educationally rich, varied, and challenging content encourage language and literacy development, symbolic thinking, social interaction, and cultural awareness?

Early literacy is addressed through authentic writing activities and exposure to an abundance of quality literature for both information and pleasure. We use literature to think critically about complex issues. The program encourages the use of many expressive languages to represent ideas, questions, and learning.

Students see themselves as authors as they develop understanding that writing is used as a tool for planning, strategizing, understanding, and reflection. Through this, children develop the understanding that letters represent specific spoken sounds and that written word represents spoken word. Early literacy concepts such as phonemic awareness, letter formation, directionality, spacing, and the steps of the writing process (prewriting, drafting, and editing) are explored as students immerse themselves in writing for a purpose.

Early Childhood students become familiar with the library during weekly visits that incorporate language activities such as stories, poetry, finger plays, felt boards, and puppetry. Many of the lessons are integrated with other topics introduced by teachers.

Children begin to learn the responsibility of selecting appropriate titles and caring for and handling books. They are taught to make sure the books are returned each week and to keep them together in their book bags.