Reggio Emilia Inspired Preschool


Ages: 3-5 years old
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Available days – Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 12:30pm

Scuola Italiana offers a Reggio Emilia-inspired, cultural immersion preschool in NW Portland.  The program is taught by experienced, native Italian teachers.  The preschool is open to children ages 3 to 5 years old. We are enrolling for the 2019/20 term that begins in September 2019, 8:30am – 12:30pm.

The preschool is located at 1542 NW 14th Ave (between Quimby & Raleigh Sts.) on the ground floor of the beautiful Ramona Apartments. The entrance is on the 14th Street side of the building.

**Preschool ToursWant to see the Preschool class in action? Reservation required. Please email to schedule a 30 minute tour of the Preschool from 9:30am – 10:00am on Tuesday or Thursday. *will resume in September 2019

What is Reggio Emilia?
The Reggio Emilia model is based on multi-sensory, child-directed learning. Founded in 1963 by Loris Malaguzzi, an Italian pedagogist in Reggio Emilia, a city in North Italy, this approach “fosters children’s intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation, including words, movements, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play and music, which leads children to surprising levels of communication, symbolic skills and creativity” (Edwards et al., 1993).

“Children have the right to use materials in order to discover and communicate what they know, understand, wonder about, question, feel and imagine. In this way, they make their thinking visible through their many natural languages.” (Bringing Reggio Emilia Home, Louise Boyd Cadwell, 1997.)

The Scuola Italiana di Portland is a member of NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance).

Program Information
Scuola Italiana di Portland is an immersion program, meaning Italian is spoken from day one.

The full immersion method is very effective with small children, who have short attention spans and are unable to listen to long and theoretical explanations. Italian is the vehicle for content instruction not the subject of instruction. Therefore, as students are immersed in the second language, they can become fluent speakers of the language at an early age. It has been found that students enrolled in an early-immersion program learn the second language at an almost-native proficiency.

Scuola Italiana preschool follows the Italian education standards as outlined in the Orientamenti per la Scuola Materna Del, 1991 and Nuove Indicazioni Nazionali per la Scuola dell-Infanzia.  These standards define five main areas of teaching that guide the learning process with the purpose to provide a more complete and global education for young children.  These guidelines are very similar to the International Baccalaureate (IB) units in the Primary Years Program (PYP).

The five major thematic units with which all lessons and activities are developed and taught throughout the school year are:

    • Myself and Others
    • Languages and Creativity
    • The World Around Me
    • Movement and My Body
  • Words and Expressions

Students will explore and learn about each theme through:

How is the natural world changing each season? We discover how the natural world is changing through direct observations and taking pictures of these changes, then recording each change with drawings and notes.

2. ART:
“Making Art” is a spontaneous way for a child to express himself and communicate his/her own personal experience to other people. With this area of interest the children will find the way to express themselves through a different communicative language known as visual literacy.

The meeting between American and Italian cultures in our classroom presents an opportunity for an authentic diversity experience which will permit the students to focus their attention on other realities, both near and far from them. We will teach our students about the most important Italian festivals, using constructive methods including short interactive stories, dance, folkloric music, and songs.

“Stories – said C. Lewis – are like a gift of love, they do not ask anything in return”. Children love to listen to the voice of an adult that is reading a story. We will use Italian childhood literature to help the students build an affectionate relationship with the Italian language.

Counting, lullabies, limericks, a little poetry in rhyme and children’s songs will be part of our musical project. The perception of rhythm and the musical sounds- the melody of a foreign language, helps students to feel comfortable with a new language.

Movement games are important to build a positive relationship between the body and a language. These games not only reinforce the target language, but are also useful for the development of his/her personality. One of our objectives will be to create a comfortable learning environment, where the children can feel trust and happiness, therefore lowering their affective filters and allowing them to express themselves in a natural and spontaneous way.

Need more information?
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More Resources
Recent studies have shown that children with proficiency or exposure to a second language at an early age demonstrate superior problem-solving skills and enjoy better school
performance.  To learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach or the advantages of learning a second language, please visit these websites: