At five and six, children are starting to make sense of the world, recognize differences, understand cause and effect, and empathize with others’ points of view.
Kindergartners and first graders are eager, enthusiastic, and imaginative, and their newfound intellectualism drives a strong desire to discover for themselves.
Exploring through authentic learning experiences, the Novices love to figure out how things work in order to satisfy their deep, natural curiosity.
As Novices learn through play and exploration, both in the classroom and in the natural world, they build a solid foundation for a deep and life-long love for learning.
Each year The Learning Center spends the first month or so getting to know each other. One year we took it a step further and began to explore our local town. We walked all around the streets of Meadville getting to know our community and what it had to offer. We had so much fun that someone suggested we create our own city - The Learning Center City!
Our project started by brainstorming all that we felt was necessary for a city. Elections were held for the mayor and city council members. Together, as we mapped the city, careful considerations were made for the layout. Where should the bank be? Wouldn’t it be safer beside our police station? Why not put the museum and arts center at the front of our town to attract tourists? Our city planners thought through every detail!
With a plan in place, we were ready for construction. The teachers contacted local furniture and appliance stores to secure as many large boxes as possible. With special cardboard-fastening tools, we began creating homes and businesses. Our construction didn’t stop with the buildings. We dove even deeper and built our own economic system. We produced our own currency and made goods from upcycled materials. The Learning Center City came to life!
A special celebration was held one evening to invite local tourists, otherwise known as parents, to visit our special city. That evening, we shared a song that we had written in honor of our town. Many weeks were spent exploring this city, and it is still talked about as a favorite time by our alumni. The Learning Center City was truly a special place where learning came alive!