We are pleased to welcome you to the 2nd NAREA Fall Conference: Shaping Environments that Foster Interaction, Research, Curiosity, and Communication. Through the years, NAREA has brought professional development opportunities to over 250,000 educators, families, advocates, policymakers, and community members across North America. These conferences, initiatives, and exhibits focused on a variety of topics. The 2nd NAREA Fall Conference topic, suggested in the summer conference survey by participants, is “top of mind” for many educators in North America. We know that many of you have welcomed children and families back into your school, many are new teachers, and many are working in new environments. So, NAREA and Reggio Children have partnered to bring you a conference that aims to meet our curiosities.
Like you, we stand with children, families, and educators in our mutual efforts to be seen and valued as citizens with agency and intelligence, especially in these times of uncertainty. We enthusiastically join Reggio Emilia in ever-evolving research and action for excellence in education. The current global crisis has re-taught us that when we stand and act together, we can make positive changes in the world.
We know that it is difficult to plan to be away from the children and families to participate in professional development. We applaud your foresight in
recognizing the benefit of adult learning to your school and to your own personal growth. By joining with others in professional formation and embracing a virtual way of being together, you demonstrate your dedication to the children and families that share your daily life. We realize this year has held many challenges for teachers and schools, so it is with great respect and understanding that we encourage you as you invest in an approach that values the exchange of ideas, ongoing study, research, innovation, and collaboration.
We welcome our colleagues Elena Maccaferri, Filippo Chieli, and interpreter Jane McCall from Reggio Emilia, Italy, with great pleasure and gratitude. Through their sharing and exchange, we will continue to construct strong interpretations of the values, principles, and experiences of the municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia. With deep appreciation, we recognize those who worked to make this virtual event a reality—during a period of tremendous uncertainty. Finally, we know we speak for all of us in thanking the community of Reggio Emilia, including Istituzione, Reggio Children, and the Reggio Children—Loris Malaguzzi Foundation for all they are doing to move education to a position of priority globally.
Please enjoy this time of thinking together about the value, the need, and the creation of innovative, relational, and knowledge-building environments for young children.
Together, we are empowering exceptional education.