The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Board would like to welcome you to The Fourth NAREA Winter Conference, Walls into Bridges: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities, a NAREA initiative in partnership with Tucson Children’s Project and Head Start Child-Parent Centers, and hosted by the University of Arizona.
Since our founding in 2002, the NAREA board has traveled to different parts of North America for its winter board meeting. Last year we had the privilege of developing our third winter initiative in Mountain View, California with Google Children’s Centers, and we are excited to continue to bring together educators with the aim of supporting and strengthening all those interested in the experiences and ongoing research of Reggio Emilia, Italy. We hope this initiative offers a rich and meaningful contribution to your ongoing professional development.
It is with special gratitude that we welcome our colleague and NAREA board member, Amelia Gambetti, who is a 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 for Consultancy to Schools, board member of Istituzione for the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and NAREA board member. It is also our honor to welcome our constant friend and NAREA board member, Lella Gandini, currently Reggio Children Liaison in the U.S. for Dissemination of the Reggio
Emilia Approach. We also wish to extend our appreciation to the educators from Tucson Children’s Project, Head Start Child-Parent Centers and the University of Arizona. We especially want to thank all of them for hosting this initiative and supporting the many planning details connected to it.
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 invest in an ongoing approach that includes permanent study, research, collaboration, innovation, transparency and exchange. Through our professional development projects, we 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 identity, is to see how much the message of Reggio Emilia is based on attitudes of research and invention 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.
Together, we are empowering exceptional education.