“This exhibition is offered as a democratic piazza calling international attention to the importance of education and schools as places for discussion and mutual exchange.” – Reggio Children
To say that the Williamsburg Northside community is thrilled to be hosting The Wonder Of Learning Exhibit is an understatement. Since it’s opening on January 15th, thousands of students, parents and educators have visited the exhibit, which runs through May 15, 2015. Presented in collaboration with Reggio Children and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA), The exhibit has been inspiring government, business leaders, educators, artists, families, students and communities to recognize the extraordinary potential of children’s learning and creativity since 1987.
The exhibit’s opening night gala was an evening full of inspiration and hope. We were thrilled to have Mayor Bill de Blasio welcome the exhibit to NYC, and discuss his deep passion and commitment to early childhood education. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams discussed hosting the exhibit in Williamsburg as further evidence that Brooklyn continues to be a leader in education, creativity, arts and the extraordinary benefits of programs that are able to successfully combine these elements when it comes to early education. Lella Gandini, United States liaison for Reggio Children noted the unique timing of having the exhibit hosted in New York, a time when there is so much discussion about early childhood education and how it can be the foundation for later learning and social interaction. Jane Racoosin, Director of Beginnings Nursery School emphasized the importance the exhibit places on respect for children as it is paramount to what we do as educators.
One of the absolute highlights of the evening was a thrilling performance by our very own 4th graders drummers, led by teachers Ayanda Clarke, Matt Cole and Julie Rapoport.
The 7,000 square-foot exhibition showcases the work of children and teachers in the infant-toddler and preschool programs of the municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Through experiencing the exhibit, viewers can deepen their understanding of children’s thinking, collaboration and relationship-based learning. The exhibit is composed of six sections and a variety of media, including three-dimensional objects, videos, booklets, audio recordings, children’s work and much more.
Proposed as “a democratic square or piazza”, the exhibit is offered as a place for dialogue and to:
- Affirm the right to education and learning.
- Highlight the idea that schools can choose an “ecological” approach, allowing coexistence and co-participation in building culture.
- Recognize the extraordinary potential of the hundred languages, specifically in children but also in human beings in general.
- Declare an idea of participation in education focused on creating an intercultural dynamic that reaches towards the construction of a new experience of citizenship.
We are thrilled to see so many visitors to the exhibit sharing their excitement online. The official exhibition website offers video booth messages from guests as well as written “reflections” about their personal experiences at the exhibit.
Hosted at our state of the art Lower School building at 299 North 7th street in Brooklyn, New York, the exhibit is FREE and open to the public on Saturdays through Sundays between 12 to 6 PM.
Check out the wonderful The Power of Listening to Children: The Journey of Inspiration from Reggio Emilia, Italy video on Vimeo.
*photo courtesy of the Wonder Of Learning website