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Gillispie School / Early Childhood

It’s tough to be a kid today. So many expectations, so much pressure. Consider that in many places preschool, a place that should be filled with play, imagination, and creativity, is frequently being labeled as “The New Kindergarten”. These preschoolers are forced to move at a fast-forward pace, drilled on letters and math, reading before their eyes are ready, often maintaining busier schedules than adults. Then, it’s off to elementary school, where the pressure is on to...

Gillispie School celebrated its annual International Day Friday, April 6. Students grabbed their "passports" and traveled to Brazil, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Senegal, Sweden, and Thailand. Parent volunteers and teachers transformed classrooms into virtual countries where children experienced smells, sights, and sounds of the different cultures represented. The students had the opportunity to learn about each unique culture as they journeyed "around the world," completing crafts, sampling exotic food and drink, listening to music, and much more! This successful...

A former Gillispie student was recently back on campus observing an EC classroom for her college Child Development course, and we were warmed by an email she sent us in regard to her experience: Coming onto campus for the first time in over 5 years brought more joy to me than I have had in a long time. Gillispie was my life from preschool to fifth grade and I am who I am because of Gillispie. I...

Our Preschool classes held their annual Fall Feast in the gym recently. Students made hand-printed placemats and table decorations for the event. The meal was potluck style, with each family bringing in a dish specially requested by their child to share. During the event, families wrote down things they are thankful for on cut-out feathers that were attached to a shared turkey display. Shared mealtimes in Reggio are held in high regard, and our educational philosophy values children, educators, and family...

Learn by Doing  Fine motor skills are those that involve a refined use of the small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb. With the development of these skills, a child is able to complete important tasks such as writing, feeding oneself, buttoning, and zippering. These abilities gradually develop through experience and exposure to a variety of toys and materials. This includes the ability to grasp, pick up, release, imitate, and copy patterns. As a provocation, Preschool...

“Where are your shoes?” This is a familiar inquiry overheard at the end of the day toward barefoot preschool students. Most likely the shoes in question have been tucked away while the child has been blissfully barefoot during the school day. You may have wondered what are the benefits of walking barefoot in the park? Body Awareness, Balance, and Agility Going barefoot helps children develop kinesthetic recognition which leads to better dexterity and proprioception. It also stimulates...

Registration is now open for the Fall Artisans In The Atelier workshop series taught by Porschia Talbot of My Art Shed in Gillispie School’s beautiful atelier and community garden! During each art workshop, students will explore the natural beauty that surrounds us every day and see how even the smallest flower can inspire wondrous art. They will slither paint like a snake, design and build tiny houses fit for a fairy queen, breathe color into fallen leaves, and plant seeds that will one...