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What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?

Little Sunbeams Preschool is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education that originated in Northern Italy. Little Sunbeams Preschool does not intend to duplicate this philosophy because the children, families and teachers of Litchfield Park, AZ offer a different culture, location and perspective.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy is an approach to teaching, learning and advocacy for children. In its most basic form, it is a way of observing what children know, are curious about and what challenges them. Teachers record these observations to reflect on developmentally appropriate ways to help children expand their academic and social potentials. Long term projects connect core academic areas in and out of the classroom.

Loris Malaguzzi

February 23, 1920-January 30, 1994


Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach, began teaching in schools started by parents just after the end of WWII. Through the years, he transformed that courageous initiative into the internationally acclaimed program for young children that we know today. 

Those who worked with Malaguzzi or heard him speak have vivid memories of an intense learning experience- his philosophical reflections, surprising observations, unexpected turns of though, complexity of ideas, and delightful metaphors. One way to pay tribute to Loris Malaguzzi is to listen to his words...

"Our goal is to build an amiable school, where children, teachers, and families feel at home. Such a school requires careful thinking and planning concerning procedures, motivations and interests. It must embody ways of getting along together, of intensifying relationships."

Edwards, Gandini, and Forman ( editors) 

The Hundred Languages of Children (Norwood, NJ Ablex, 1993)

Why Us?

“Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more."

-Loris Malaguzzi


Little Sunbeams Preschool will help children in Litchfield Park and its surrounding communities experience daily success. We will provide caring adults, an inviting environment, and a child-centered program in order to equip children with a love for learning and with an ability to make learning visible 

in their own unique way.

Ten Curriculum Foundations

As a Reggio Emilia school, Little Sunbeams sees learning as a process which is on-going and constructed through the collaboration, interactions, and communication between entities in school, home, and the community or the child’s three teachers. The following foundations and principles shape LittleSunbeams Preschool curriculum and target the mainprotagonists of learning, children.

1. Children are capable of demonstrating, storing, and organizing learning in various ways and levels.

2. Children are capable of choosing how they learn.

3. Every child is unique and has the ability to impact the learning of others.

4. Parents are the child’s first teachers.

5. Parents are capable of impacting learning in schools.

6. Classroom teachers are observers, documenters, and facilitators.

7. Classroom teachers develop learning experiences based on student interests.

8. The environment is the child’s third teacher.

9. A safe, clean, organized, and beautiful environment enhances the learning process for children.

10. Children, parents, and teachers can make learning visible each day through various mediums (languages), such as drawings, paintings, sculpture, role-playing, poetry, writing, singing, interactive journaling, and constructions, to name a few.

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