Open the April 2021 edition of Raising Arizona Kids and discover PVCC Student Marjorie Ruiz’s beautiful perspective on Early Childhood Education, showcasing the work of her young students, “Project Cactus - Celebrating Young Learners.”
After reading a children’s book to her students on javelinas in the desert, Ruiz takes the students on a short excursion to explore Arizona’s landscape and cacti. With clipboard, paper, and marker in hand, the students begin to open their imaginations, broaden their ideas, and grow. As Ruiz explains, students begin to use new words, consider why cacti bloom, or not, before hunkering down and drawing their own perspective of the plants.
“When we give time to children, when we give time to flow, we are empowering them,” said Ruiz in her article. “Art is not about an end project, rather the process of composing art, which connects neurons in the brain, helping children engage in critical thinking, and uses their senses, language, connections, and creativity.”
Ruiz is the ECE assistant and collaborator at Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, as well as an active participant in Collaborative Education Institute at Paradise Valley Community College, which is part of the college’s First Things First grant. Over the past decade, PVCC’s ECE program has received more than $4 million in grant money to conduct research and provide professional development.
ECE targets students birth to five years old, introducing thoughtful, respectful, and intellectually engaging experiences to them. Throughout April, we have celebrated various events supporting young children including the 50th Anniversary of Week of the Young Child and establishing our very own Week of the Young Child. PVCC offers a dynamic two-year program designed to enhance one’s career from the classroom to the conference room with effective and innovative learning experiences rooted in progressive educational practices.
“I am thrilled and grateful for this opportunity,” said Ruiz. “Sharing our story is a small step in our mission of making children’s work, capabilities, rights, and intelligence visible.”
Check out the full article, page 27 here.