Our Community

Through a strong connection to our community, your child will develop a solid sense of identity rooted in a historically rich cultural context that honors the stories of themselves, their families, and their community.

About Our Community

Our city of Ocala, located in Marion County Florida, is a hidden treasure. Surrounded by lush forests, rivers, crystal clear springs, and lakes, and is world renowned as the Horse Capital of the World. With a bit of a drive, we are able to experience the beauty of the ocean, the gulf coast, a wide array of amusement parks, as well as remnants of historical events that built the state we now call home. All of these resources play a vital part in your child’s lived experiences as well as their funds of knowledge that directly impact their educational experience.

In recent events, we have witnessed how, now more than ever, there is a desperate need for connection: connection with self, connection between one another, and connection with everything around us.

More About Our Community

Young children are constantly searching for meaning, through their curiosities and “why’s”, through interpretations of their experiences and where they are in their space and place. By bridging a sense of understanding about themselves, their peers and educators, as well as their families and their community, we hope to instill a better sense of connection within the children emerging from own classroom community. 

We strive to utilize our own natural resources from our community and integrate them into our curriculum. Every year, we enjoy invitations to community professionals who visit our classroom and help us create lovely gifts for the residents of our local retirement home creating, “The Bridge at Ocala.” Your child will also benefit as we engage in year-long research projects to investigate our community more in-depth, reflecting on the following concepts:

Our city of Ocala, located in Marion County Florida, is a hidden treasure. Surrounded by lush forests, rivers, crystal clear springs, and lakes, and is world renowned as the Horse Capital of the World. With a bit of a drive, we are able to experience the beauty of the ocean, the gulf coast, a wide array of amusement parks, as well as remnants of historical events that built the state we now call home. All of these resources play a vital part in your child’s lived experiences as well as their funds of knowledge that directly impact their educational experience.

Our Reggio Emilia Inspired Approach

One of the fundamental principles of Reggio Emilia is that, “Children possess extraordinary potential for learning and change. They are capable and competent, strong, powerful and rich in potential and resources right from the moment in birth. They are possessors and constructors of rights who should be respected and valued for his/her identity, uniqueness and difference, and their own rhythms of growth and development. They are citizens of our community… and citizens of our world” – Carlina Rinaldi. It is our mission at Kinderoo Children’s Academy to honor this principle and provide each child with the necessary resources and support that they will need throughout their journey of learning while respecting each of the Hundred Languages that they express.

The Hundred Languages of Children

The Hundred Languages is a metaphor for the extraordinary potentials of children, their knowledge building, and creative processes. Children tell us about their understandings of the world in many ways communicating with and through their hundred languages. There are different ways to communicate, to learn, and to know. 

Your child will be encouraged to make meaning of their world through artistic expression such as paint, clay, drama, fabric, dance, sculpture, storytelling, construction, loose parts, and many more… with each of these experiences giving value and dignity to all the different forms of learning the children possess including both verbal and non-verbal.

Unique to the Reggio Emilia approach, this philosophy declares that there are three teachers: the child, the teacher, and the environment. Each educator is viewed as a researcher committed to listening, observing, and documenting each child’s work throughout the investigative process. 

Our teachers present intriguing provocations to the children and encourage higher-level thinking through scaffolding and co-construction of inquiry. In the process of learning, the educators, parents, and children are viewed as collaborators. We view our parents as an essential resource to their child’s learning.
The exchange of ideas between parents and teachers is vital in creating a more positive and productive learning environment. It is our goal to take into account the needs and desires that you hold as a parent and strive to help better your child’s learning journey by attending to their interests and ideas.

Our Philosophy

Our curriculum is inspired by the educational philosophy of the municipal preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy — the educational approach based on the idea that children and human beings are holders of rights and potentials.

We believe that children learn best through play, and it is our responsibility to foster, promote, and create meaningful play experiences through an emergent curriculum of inquiry and investigation. The educator’s role is not to lecture or fill the child with information, but rather to listen, observe, probe, support, and be wonder-filled alongside the child. This is achieved by offering open-ended proposals and experiences filled with rich and authentic materials that support the children’s interests.

Through daily inquiries and investigations, children and adults become critical thinkers and partners in the learning process of co-constructing knowledge together. Many investigations lead to longer-term project work, enabling children to use expressive languages such as painting, wire, clay, drawing, collage, sculpture, paper making, weaving, blocks, textiles, and more to further their ideas, interests, and knowledge.

One essential element of an emerging curriculum approach is the documentation of children’s investigations or theories-in-action. We document these theories through a process of first observing, then recording and interpreting, and then providing experiences that we hope will extend the children’s investigations. 

We provide opportunities for children to revisit and reflect on their work by placing documentation of their projects throughout the school. Our use of documentation is more than simply an effort to present the children’s work. Rather, documentation regularly informs our efforts because it provides the data to understand what the children are investigating.

Our Culture

We believe in the rights of the child; understanding that they are protagonists in society. We believe that every child has the right to be listened to and to participate, to be part of the group and take action alongside others on the basis of their own knowledge and experiences. It is our job as educators to nurture and guide them by honoring their voices, their opinions, and their expertise.

As adults, we often set expectations and intentions for the children in regard to achievement and curriculum. However, we also understand that children often have their own expectations and intentions in their play, and it is critical that we be flexible enough to encourage this as well as attempt to understand these intentions.

Our Approach

We provide opportunities for children to revisit and reflect on their work by placing documentation of their projects throughout the school. Our use of documentation is more than simply an effort to present the children’s work. Rather, documentation regularly informs our efforts because it provides the data to understand what the children are investigating.

We believe that “play”, combined with the endless curiosity of the children, enables them to engage in meaningful self-directed learning experiences and discoveries. Research has shown how these authentic experiences lead to greater levels of information and skill acquisition, increased confidence of self, and ultimately, higher achievement.

Our Learning Environment

“The Space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes, and cultures of the people who live in it.”

– Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children

Unique to the Reggio Emilia approach, this philosophy declares that there are three teachers: the child, the teacher, and the environment. As you walk around Kinderoo Children’s Academy, you will notice how every item in the classroom has a higher purpose and is presented in a way that invites each child to explore and wonder. The children’s work is displayed in a manner that celebrates their discoveries, accompanied by written documentation that provides detailed descriptions and images of their learning processes. 

The role of the environment is to evoke children’s curiosity, creativity, and wonder and is set up in a way that is enticing, imaginative, inviting, and intentional. The environment places an emphasis on natural, everyday, and realistic materials that capture the children’s interest and create an enticing space that children cannot resist, fostering their understanding and piquing their interest.

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