The 5th NAREA Winter Conference

Welcome Letter

The Pleasure of Learning: Reimagining School as a Place of Inspiration, Innovation, and Collaboration


The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Board would like to welcome you to The Fifth NAREA Winter Conference – The Pleasure of Learning: Reimagining School as a Place of Inspiration, Innovation, and Collaboration a NAREA initiative in partnership with and hosted by the First Baptist Kindergarten and Infant-Toddler Program in Greenville, South Carolina.

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 fourth winter initiative in Tucson, Arizona, 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 colleagues Paola Cagliari and Angela Barozzi from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Paola is the Director of Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centers, Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia. Angela currently coordinates one infant-toddler Center, two preschools and a green center for young children and is supervisor for other family and childcare services in Reggio Emilia. We also wish to extend educators from the First Baptist Church Kindergarten and Infant-Toddler our appreciation to the Program for hosting this initiative and supporting the planning 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, our communities, and ourselves.


Reflection Video

February 27–March 1, 2014 | Greenville, South Carolina


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