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Art is the way children Express themselves

Loris Malguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, wrote a poem called The Hundred Languages of Children. In it he explains that children have a hundred ways of doing many things and a hundred ways to create and explore their own worlds. The Reggio approach stresses the importance of letting children learn in their own way and express themselves in a “language” of their choosing.

Art is one way that children express themselves and interpret their life experiences. As you walk through the halls and classrooms of our ECC, you see how much we value children’s own artistic creativity and expression. Engaging in art activities has many values.

* It offers opportunities for self-expression and individualism. Some children do not communicate their feelings well through verbal language, however, they are able to express themselves through art media.

*Art activities offer the opportunity to enhance motor skills and develop small muscles.

*Through art children learn to devote more time to thinking and planning and organizing.

*Art activities provide opportunities for language and communication skills as well.

*Children talk to one another and describe their efforts and products as they finish.

This year we were thrilled to add the position of an atelierista to our faculty. The atelierista works with children alongside staff in rooms to provide experiences and provocations for the children and to observe and document the learning process in detail.

We are delighted to have Vitaly Umansky as our atelierista. He comes to us with a fine education including a BFA from FIT and a Masters in Education from Sarah Lawrence College. He has many years of teaching experience in many fine early childhood programs throughout New York.

Vitaly says that his role is “to set the course, provide the maps and the compass, but not to teach children how to do their job. They all have a natural ability to be curious and get excited, and a desire to leave their mark and tell their stories.”

He has worked closely with the children in the fours to make beautiful and unique wooden chanukiot. At each step of the way Vitaly supported the children in their exploration and honored them in their choices. He encouraged them to work with friends to check their work as they painted and glued. Throughout the multi-week process, Vitaly listened carefully to the children and documented all of their wonderful ideas. He commented:

“There were children who took extra care noticing the works of others, appreciating some values that they found particularly stellar, as they compared them to their own work, now that they had a full understanding of what it means to work hard on a project, and what a product of hard work looks like.”

We are so appreciative of the deep commitment Vitaly brings to our children and to their art and are privileged to have him in our school.

May 24,2022 /  23 Iyyar 5782