Goodwin College Opens New Early Childhood Magnet School
With some special guests from throughout the state and a good buddy from Sesame Street, Goodwin College cut the ribbon on its newest educational endeavor on Monday, September 9.
The Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School is now officially open. The school, which serves 240 children ages three to five in a unique learning environment, fills a tremendous need as the state seeks to provide more quality early childhood education to youngsters.
“This is the future, ladies and gentlemen,” said Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “Early Childhood Education is education reform, and it is front and center.”
The Commissioner was joined by Goodwin College administrators and local and state elected officials as they opened the school during a ceremony held on one of the two unique playgrounds on site. Cookie Monster made his way from Sesame Street to join the party, not only helping to cut the ribbon, but also to meet with many of the school children and inspire learning activities.
As an interdistrict magnet school, the Early Childhood School welcomes children from throughout the Greater Hartford region. The school helps the state balance the number of urban and suburban learners, helping to satisfy the requirements of the landmark Sheff vs. O’Neill court decision to eliminate the de facto segregation occurring in Hartford public schools.
Pryor emphasized that the College was not only helping satisfy the Sheff requirements, but was also providing a crucial component in school reform by creating quality learning opportunities and early intervention for young children.
The school follows the Reggio Emilia model, which emphasizes learning through the senses and allowing children to explore learning. The concept requires strong relationships between children and adults as well as genuine sense of community where parents and guardians are very much involved.
“We are hoping we are able to do something quite special here,” said Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg.
The College president thanked all the parties involved in the opening of the school and gave recognition to design firm Svigalls + Partners, whom Scheinberg called “artists as well as architects.” He also credited construction firm Fusco Corporation with completing the project not only to specifics, but also under budget.
Jenna Tenore, Director of the Early Childhood School, said that the partnership between the new school and Goodwin College would provide an incredible program not just to the children, but to the Goodwin students who will be working with the classes and studying how an Reggio Emilia school works. Students in the Goodwin College Early Childhood Education and Child Study programs will be working with the school to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
“We will also have the opportunity to influence the next generation of early childhood educators,” Tenore said.