The 8th NAREA Summer Conference

Welcome Letter

The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Board would like to welcome you to The 8th NAREA Summer Conference, Dialogues for Quality in Education: Giving Visibility to Creative Thinking and Collaboration in Our Schools and Communities, a NAREA initiative in collaboration with Reggio Children and Portland Children’s Museum.

Since our founding in 2002, the NAREA board has traveled to different parts of North America for its summer board meeting. Last year we had the privilege of developing our seventh summer initiative at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California with First 5 Monterey and Central Coast Association for the Education of Young Children, 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 Vea Vecchi, Atelierista, Responsible for Exhibitions, Publishing and Ateliers; Tiziana Filippini, Pedagogista, Responsible for Pedagogical Coordination of Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centers, Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia; and Amelia Gambetti, Insegnante, Responsible for Reggio Children International Network and International Liaison for Consultancy to Schools, and NAREA Board member. We are also honored to welcome artists Federica Parretti and Peter Byworth, who have worked with children, teachers and parents in Reggio Emilia as well as Reggio Children international professional development initiative participants

on the role of the body and movement. We also wish to extend our appreciation to the educators from the Opal School and the staff of the Portland Children’s Museum for hosting this initiative and supporting its planning. Our thanks also to the Portland hospitality committee who have helped with conference organization.

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.


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