Early Childhood Engagement Center

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At the Early Childhood Engagement Center at Temple Emanuel children learn through experience.  They touch, move, listen, see and hear.  These experiences allow children to construct knowledge in a variety of ways. 
Children at the Early Childhood Engagement Center explore math, science, literature, and the world around them.  Most of all children at the Early Childhood Engagement Center at Temple Emanuel learn about Judaism and how joyful it is.
Our pre-school is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy.  This methodology has been studied and modeled world-wide.  Two key aspects of a Reggio Emilia program are building from what children already know and creating learning spaces that stimulate and incorporate natural elements.

Mission Statement
At the Early Childhood Engagement Center at Temple Emanuel it is our mission to create meaningful relationships.  This is achieved by providing a safe and nurturing Jewish early childhood environment that is inspired by the philosophy of Reggio Emilia.

Program Philosophy
The Early Childhood Engagement Center at Temple Emanuel believes that pre-school should be an adventure in learning.  We strive to help children develop confidence, independence, and a connection to the Jewish world.

We believe every child is remarkable and we strive to create opportunities for each individual to experience discovery, joy, challenge, and accomplishment.  

Goals which help achieve this include:
  • promoting self esteem and confidence
  • increasing problem solving skills through cooperation and other pre-social behavior
  • developing fantasy play that facilitates imagination and creative thinking processes
  • fostering awareness of the world by participating in a variety of experiences
  • providing an environment that gives children opportunities to learn by doing – moving from concrete hands-on experiences to more abstract concept development

Reggio Emilia Philosophy
The Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach to the education of young children began in Reggio Emilia, Italy in the late 1940's - early 1950's.  The late Loris Malaguzzi was the principal innovator and leader in this approach.  Over the years he guided the parents and teachers in Reggio Emilia in the development of the Reggio philosophy.  It is founded in the idea that education is based on relationships--it encompasses the nature of children, learning, and teaching.

The Reggio Emilia approach is built upon a solid foundation of connected philosophical principles and extensive experience. Educators in Reggio Emilia have been inspired by many early childhood psychologists and philosophers, such as Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner and Bruner.

Therefore the Reggio approach is not an early childhood method or set curriculum, but rather a deep knowledge in theory and community-constructed values that have been and are continuously being translated into high quality early childhood practices. As a result, educational theory and practice in Reggio Emilia is strongly connected. 

The Reggio approach seeks to help children connect to the knowledge they already have, expand upon that base of knowing and to internalize the skills of observing, communicating, questioning and information gathering.  Connections to art, music, movement, and nature are built during this process.  Not only are the teachers and children a part of this process, but families and the community are involved as well.