The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit coming to Indianapolis

100 Languages of Children Indianapolis 2009A new exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy is coming to Indianapolis next month.

The Wonder of Learning the Hundred Languages of Childrenis a continuously updated travelling exhibition that has been telling the story of the Reggio Emilia educational experience worldwide to thousands of visitors for over 25 years.”

ReggioThe Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative (St. Mary’s Child Center, The Early Learning Centers of Lawrence Township, Warren Early Childhood Center, and Butler University), along with the Mayor’s Office, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC), the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Day Nursery, Young Audiences, Indianapolis Public Schools, Family Development Services-Head Start, and United Way of Central Indiana, have the pleasure of hosting this exhibit in 2009 at the Indiana State House July 17-December 18. Anyone can view the exhibit free of charge during the six month stay. A series of events including conferences, workshops and early childhood advocacy opportunities will fill the six month calendar during the stay of The Wonder of Learning. The conferences and events will focus on diversity, social justice and equity issues in early childhood education, and on the integration of the visual arts in early childhood classrooms.

In Indianapolis, for several years, staff members from early learning centers including The Lawrence Early Learning Centers, St. Mary’s Child Center and The Warren Early Childhood Center, with the support of the Butler University College of Education, have been studying the work of the educators in Reggio Emilia as they reflect upon and improve their own practice. In 2007, these entities formally created the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative. Interest in Reggio Emilia and in Reggio influenced American programs has been growing in Indianapolis and Day Nursery Association has begun to work with the Collaborative.  A committee of Day Nursery teachers have begun to take the Reggio Emilia journey.  This group of committed educators is involved in a summer long sutdy of the Reggio way.  “It is our goal,” noted Marsha Lindsey, Day Nursery Director of Operations, “to truly embrace the concepts and beliefs of Reggio and work toward creating a Reggio inspired program within Day Nursery.”

The presence of the exhibit and associated conferences will ignite interest, and dialogue surrounding the potential of young children when they are offered the highest quality of early learning experiences. It is the hope of the Collaborative that the dialogue surrounding this exhibit, will challenge early childhood educators, legislators and community business leaders in Indiana to elevate the quality of young children’s programs in the same way the exhibit has helped to elevate quality in other cities.

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