The 1st NAREA Winter Conference

Welcome Letter

Dialogues for Quality in Education: Inspiring Change through Collaboration and Community Building


The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Board would like to welcome you to this first of its kind professional development initiative organized especially for and with NAREA New England members. Since our founding in 2002, the NAREA board has traveled to different parts of North America for its winter board meeting. Over these years, after meeting with many different groups of educators, the board is endeavoring to bring together local educators and NAREA’s resources as a sort of investment in the local area. Today, we will all share and exchange our varied perspectives around our theme entitled, Dialogues for Quality in Education: Inspiring Change through Collaboration and Community Building. This day seeks to support and strengthen all those interested in the experiences and ongoing research of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and aims to contribute to a sense of solidarity between us. We hope it offers a rich and meaningful contribution to your ongoing professional development.

It is with special gratitude that we welcome our colleague, Amelia Gambetti, former educator in the renowned municipal system of infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Amelia is currently Reggio Children International Network Coordinator, International Liaison and Consultant responsible for project promotion and development for the International Center Loris Malaguzzi, and board member of Istituzione for the municipality of Reggio Emilia. It is also our honor to welcome our constant friend, Lella Gandini, Reggio Children Liaison in the U.S. for Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach.

We extend our appreciation, too, to the many New England educators presenting their work. Finally, we thank The Children’s Garden for hosting this initiative and supporting the many planning details connected with the day.

We wish to highlight our belief in and commitment to the value of diversity and differences as essential aspects of personal and professional development. Recognizing the ever-increasing number of programs for young children inspired by Reggio’s approach to life and education, we honor and encourage each program and every group of colleagues to stay a course that includes permanent study, research, collaboration, innovation, transparency, and exchange. Through our long term professional development project attached to the presence of the The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit in North America, we will encounter a host of schools at varying points of their own journey, willing to open their doors, expose their work, and welcome the participation of visitors. This style of development has been introduced to all of us by the only “Reggio schools” of Reggio Emilia, Italy. To be continually encouraged to find our own unique identities as schools in different communities worthy in our own right is to see how much the message of Reggio Emilia is based on attitudes of research and innovation, rather than prescriptive dogma. For this, we are also grateful.

Please enjoy the pleasure of thinking and wondering as we work together to construct a better future for our children, ourselves, and our communities.


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