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A program showcase: Jardim dos Pequeñitos, Santo André, Brazil

by Michael Kalinowski
September/October 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-program-showcase/5020778/

“For children, the curiosity is encouragement, so that they investigate the world, and this process is very important in their development. They need to figure out who to trust, what ­danger is, what fun is, setting their own borders. Thus this ­initial discovery is intense and full of action.”
Herman, 1992

According to Valéria Andreetto, Principal of Jardim dos ­Pequeñitos (Garden of the Little Ones), an urban school, “In their everyday life children have an ongoing relationship with the trees and animals (rabbits, peacocks, ducks, chickens, hens, turtles, and fish). In this place, we take advantage of some inherent characteristics of the child, such as playing and having pleasure in discovering things, driven by curiosity . . . the ­starting point for learning, and what promotes a desire to ­continue to learn.”

Pequeñitos was born on October 1, 1987 as a Montessori school. After 15 years the program had grown tremendously. Andreetto says, “We were looking for a special physical ­environment in which there was nature with dimensions that foster imagination, energy, and the spirit of community.” The program now enrolls 300 children in 15 classrooms, with a staff of 102. The program operates from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm.

In the nursery, they ...

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