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Record Number: 4136
Displayed from: May 01, 2008 , until: May 16, 2008
More than 100 people from across the country will participate in a conference this weekend at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center focusing on the Reggio Emilia philosophy and best practices for working together to provide quality early childhood education. The conference is part of a multi-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The $400,000 grant is being used to build relationships between early childhood educators in the community and FWCS as well as offer training opportunities to those who are working with young children. Whitney Young staff has worked with Peace Lutheran Preschool, Simpson Academy and Child Care, Hanna-Creighton Head Start, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Preschool, the YMCA Pre-K extended day program at Whitney Young and the Anthis Early Childhood Program. The agencies have worked together to learn about the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, which views children as competent, resourceful and curious and encourages children to learn through interaction with others in a friendly learning environment. The seminar this weekend, "Putting it All Together: Reggio Inspired Practices Reflection, Collaboration and Relationships," will provide additional training for participants. Speakers include Karen Ernst da Silva, an educator, artist and author from Shelton, Conn., whose work has focused on the connection between literacy and art; Chuck Schwall, a studio arts teacher from St. Louis, Mo., who will discuss the role the environment plays in teaching children; Ashley Cadwell, headmaster of the same school in St. Louis, who is an expert in the Reggio Emilia approach; and Karen Gallas, a teacher researcher who is recognized nationally and internationally. The seminar runs from noon to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, which includes a break for dinner and performance by artist in residence Abass Camara, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 3.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.