These challenging times have not stopped PVCC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program from keeping learning alive for students, alumni and faculty. The center quickly transitioned its summer professional development opportunities from in-person to virtual environments.
The annual Summer Studio, funded by the First Things First North Regional Council Partnership grant, was transformed from a four-day on campus experience to four daily 90-minute live sessions with Dr. Gigi Yu, art education faculty at University of New Mexico, and Jesús Oviedo, MFA, Studio Coordinator and Educational Consultant with Chicago Commons. Each session featured fine arts content knowledge, examples of children's engagement with the visual arts, and suggestions for experiences to try at home. These hands-on experiences were implemented with materials easily accessible at home, such as items found on a nature walk (pictured). An added benefit of the Summer Studio sessions moving online was that children in the homes and programs of the registered participants were able to experience these activities as the sessions were happening.
When the virus broke out, travel came to a standstill, but educators’ ability to collaborate internationally did not. Instead of flying to Italy, 12 PVCC students, alumni and faculty attended the annual North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) Summer Conference virtually. “The conference was a way to reconnect with the passionate and intentional educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy that continue to inspire and challenge my practices and determination to look beyond and dive deeper into how I can change and positively impact children’s lives and their rights to the best education,” said ECE graduate, Marjorie Ruiz (pictured). “I look forward to more substantial opportunities to attend conferences like this one that continue to encourage us to innovate and transform the way we look at early childhood education.