June 19 to November 30, 2014, early childhood organizations and supporters who are interested in raising the quality of early learning experiences in New Mexico in collaboration with the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) and Reggio Children, will present a traveling exhibit from the early learning programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy, at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit is a collection of engaging and interactive displays that describes the rich history, research, and documentation of the daily practice taking place in the world-renowned early childhood programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The New Mexico Wonder of Learning Collaborative in collaboration with NAREA is also planning coinciding educational opportunities for educators and families during the exhibit’s stay in New Mexico. The Premiere Sponsor for the exhibit in New Mexico is St. Joseph Community Health.
The unique characteristics of the Reggio Emilia approach reflect and honor the multicultural community of New Mexico. There is much about the Reggio Emilia approach that is of interest to educators, families, and communities throughout New Mexico. Early childhood programs throughout New Mexico that are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy have reported dramatic improvements in children's learning experiences, teachers' professional development, and family involvement.
Every city that has hosted the Wonder of Learning exhibit reports and increased focus on the quality of their early education programs in their local communities. We know from research that providing young children with a quality start in education is a sound economic investment. It is anticipated that New Mexico children immersed in the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach with access to inspired and engaging learning experiences in their early years will show increased competence in their later school experiences, thus diminishing the achievement gap.
We also know that one critical way to improve educational experiences for children is through enhanced teacher learning and family education. The exhibit and coinciding professional development opportunities and family events will provide a setting to engage in meaningful discussions about the establishment of a high quality early learning system in New Mexico.
P.J Bonaguidi Foundation Birth to Five, Inc. Ethel Jane Westfeidt Bunting Foundation