C5 Children’s School has been inspired by the preprimary schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy since 2002. We are also inspired by the preprimary schools in Pistoia, Italy and by several other world-wide best practices in learning and development.
The schools in both of the cities are an significant inspiration and a comprehensive example of how beautiful, wondrous, and effective a concentration on early childhood development and education can be when an entire community gets behind exceptional quality for young children.
The town of Reggio Emilia devotes a significant percentage of their gross tax revenue to their early childhood programs. They also have the generous participation of local architects, designers, artists, researchers, musicians, chefs, and parent volunteers to plan for and create unique learning environments and experiences.
Immediately after World War II ended, the women of Reggio Emilia began reassembling a school house for their children to begin getting special attention and the learning and development that would protect and enhance their development and learning in new ways. They wanted to abandon the old, strict, didactic form of instruction and replace it with an interactive, child-centered, highly respectful, aesthetic, exploratory, creative, and democratic approach. They relied on their long tradition of the arts as a basis for their curriculum. Wherever they could, they designed and built schools that resembled their Italian town design, with collaborative, community-oriented, interactive spaces open to the outdoors, and a central piazza within the school building.
The city of Reggio Emilia has formed the organization known as Reggio Children. (link to Reggio Children) It publishes an extensive array of books and pamphlets that illustrate and describe the comprehensive approach to professionalism in education that the schools exemplify. (link to books) Reggio Children also sends consultants to many countries around the world to facilitate culture appropriate adaptations of their Reggio approach. There are also amazing exhibits of the work of children from Reggio Emilia that re hosted by prominent cities in the USA and abroad. (link to the exhibit)
C5 Children’s School has had a Bridge to Reggio Program since 2007. We have sent over a dozen staff members to Reggio Emilia on the one week U.S. Study Tours. Some of us have gone more than once. Some of us have also gone to Pistoia, Italy on an extended study tour. We have brought back many ideas and inspirations and adapted most of them to our American and West Coast cultures.
Our current program at C5 allows for and accommodates a variety of study plans for our staff members to learn more about the unique approaches that are practiced in Reggio and Pistoia, Italy.