The Early Learning Center at Aspen and the Early Learning Center at Ramirez Thomas celebrate the joy of learning, the potential that lies within each child, and each child's connection to his or her family and community. We believe children deserve to be in a learning environment that is nurturing, stimulating and welcoming. Children are encouraged to explore and question the world around them at their own pace. Our environment of respect and compassion enhances self-expression, peer learning and teamwork - all of which foster the love of learning.
The Early Learning Center at Aspen and The Early Learning Center at Ramirez Thomas is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, which sees children and teachers as competent and capable researchers who are "searching for meaning" in their work (Rinaldi, 2001). Lesson plans are developed by the teachers through a negotiated learning process between the children and teachers. The teachers accomplish this through the reflective process of observing, while documenting and dialoguing with children about their play experiences. Teachers regularly collaborate by sharing their documentation and by working together to discover what questions children are asking and what it is they want to learn. Families are also included in this investigative process through dialogue that provokes questioning and information sharing.
We house three classrooms at our Aspen location and one classroom at our Ramirez Thomas Location. The Aspen site has three extended day 4 year old classrooms. The Ramirez Thomas site has one extended day 3 year old classroom. Both sites are in session from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on Fridays.