The Woodbury School is a preschool and kindergarten program associated with The Strong museum. It offers a an early kindergarten program for four- and five-year-old children. It also provides a preschool program for three- and four-year-old children.
The Strong's Woodbury School is based on the Reggio Emilia approach. It integrates an emergent curriculum approach that encourages teachers and students to work together to plan the curriculum and create projects. Children delve deeply into topics that fascinate them, guided by teachers who facilitate their explorations. The overall goal is to stimulate learning.
The Co-Founder of the learning toy company Click-A-Brick, Jason Smith, lauds the school's efforts. “I think it’s a great way to learn,” Smith said. “They allow children to be active participants in their own education. What better way to get them actively involved? Our toy lines at Click-A-Brick aim to replicate that. We want children to take control of their learning, dare to explore and build worlds and characters and stories. Our building blocks are tools for exactly that.”
At the Woodbury school, parents are thought of as school partners. Classroom visits are highly encouraged as is any type of parental involvement in class. Parent-teacher conferences are held regularly throughout each term. It’s also possible for parents to observe their children through a two-way mirror available in a classroom observation area.
Classroom sizes are kept intentionally small. They are held in specially designed classrooms that serve as the children’s homeroom. The Reggio Emilia curriculum is created to enable children to build confidence as they learn. All of this happens under the close supervision of early childhood teachers.
The children that enroll at the Woodbury School also have access to the museum's hands-on exhibits. Organized in small and large groups, they learn and develop in playful activities that involve art, music, cooperative games, movement, pre-reading, math, and other age-appropriate experiences.
Georg de Gorostiza, Co-Founder of Click-A-Brick, commends the Woodbury School. “I wish I had gone there as a kid,” de Gorostiza said. “They give children the freedom to pursue their own interests. As a parent, I don’t want to limit my child’s development. I want to give them every opportunity to discover what motivates them. It’s for that same reason that why we don’t label our toy lines with age or gender markers. We aspire to have all children be able to find their own path, discover their interests and passions.”
The Woodbury school is named in honor of The Strong museum’s founder: Margaret Woodbury Strong.
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