Bright Start is a Reggio-inspired early childhood education program, one of only a few such innovative schools in Santa Barbara.
Our program is designed to provide each child with a chance to explore a rich and varied environment that will encourage his/her cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
Our qualified teaching staff helps children develop self-reliance, take pride in his/her own abilities and unique traits, and gain a unique appreciation for the surrounding world.
We offer parent education classes and encourage parents to become involved in center activities. We also include enrichment classes such as Dance, Music and Spanish.
Children are capable beings with the knowledge and potential to construct their own learning, communicate, and interact with others.
They are part of a social system involving their families, schools, and communities. Children utilize various forms of communication (The Hundred Languages).
Their work with different materials such as sculpture, light, photography, collage, painting, building, writing, music, dramatic play, and many more sources expresses their understanding and curiosity. It enables a course for their ideas, theories, and plans to be developed.
The environment is a “third” teacher. It encourages exploration and discovery as well as interactions with peers. Objects are beautifully and purposefully arranged.
Teachers learn with the children and provide appropriate questions for further exploration and research of children’s projects and plans. They utilize documentation to understand how children learn and perceive the world. Documentation allows for reflection and questioning of ideas and concepts. Through its use, a path to learning emerges as problem solving processes and solving problems are revisited and discussed.
Documentation also serves as an open communication channel with parents. Children know and witness that their thoughts, ideas, plans, projects, abilities, and theories have value. Their teacher, educator or atelierista listens to what they have to say and what they express in their 100 languages.
What Reggio-inspired approach means
- The image of the child: all children have potential, construct their own learning, and are capable.
- Community and system: children, family, teachers, parents and community are interactive and work together.
- Interest in environment and beauty: school and classroom are beautiful places.
- Collaboration: teachers, partners are working together, sharing information, and sharing in projects.
- Emergent curriculum / projects: child-centered, following their interests, returning again and again to add new insights.
- Environmental stimulation: encourages activity, involvement, discovery and using a variety of media.
- Documentation: observing, recording, thinking and showing children’s learning.