Monthly Archives: April 2012

An Important Letter to the NYS Commissionner of Education

My former colleague, Liz Phillips, the principal of P.S. 321, Park Slope, Brooklyn, wrote this important letter to the commissionner of education in New York State. It’s a must read. Your thoughts will be shared with her if you like.

October Study Tour to Reggio Emilia for Literacy Educators !

October 2012 Study Group for Literacy Educators
Loris Malaguzzi International Center
October 23- 26, 2012

Matt Glover and I have been working over the past two years to secure a study tour to the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.


Matt and I share an interest in philosophies inspired by the educators in Reggio Emilia as well as effective practices in early literacy. We often feel like we have one foot in the world of effective literacy learning and one foot in the world of Reggio inspired practices. As we wrote in our study tour proposal:

“With one foot in each world, we have seen connections and bridges between these worlds that many educators miss. We read books by Katie Wood Ray and Ellin Keene and write “Reggio” in the columns constantly, even though Reggio Emilia is never explicitly mentioned. We visit schools like the Center For Inquiry in Columbia, South Carolina and The Brooklyn New School and see connections to the schools we’ve visited in Reggio Emilia, even though many of those teachers have never been to Reggio. We listen to literacy educators like Peter Johnston talk about interactions between children
and adults that are reflective of experiences at La Villetta watching Giovanni Piazza talk with children.

The goal of this proposed study tour is to create a bridge between these two worlds. We want to take some of the most passionate thinkers about children and literacy in the United States to Reggio Emilia so that they can see the connections between Reggio and their own work. Our hope is that the impact this study tour has on participants, and their subsequent writing, will be a force for positive change in education of the United States. ” Both of our visits to Reggio Emilia resonate in our work today.


Kathy Collins
Heidi Mills
Peter Johnston
Vicki Vinton
Leah Mermelstein
Andrea Lowenkopf
Michelle Boden White
Anna Allanbrook
Mary Baldwin
Teresa Belisle
Mi Benson
Renée Dinnerstein
Amy Donnelly
Matt Glover
Ben Hart
Madeline Heide
SallyAnn Jeffreys
Stephanie Jones
Maya Nelson
Patti Pinciotti
Heather Radar
Rachel Schwartzman
Ena Shelley
Mary Lisa Vertuca
Steve Wilson
Teresa Young
Susan Adamson
Debbie Corpus
Anna Jaross
Susan Mitchell
Cynthia Merrill

Study Group Program Highlights
Workshops and discussions groups
 with a focus on extending many of the basic understandings and practices to grades beyond the preschool grades.
• Sharing experiences among participants
• Presentations by pedagogistas, atelieristas and teachers on the identity, aims and principles of the educational project
• Presentation and analysis of research projects realized inside the Preschools
• Visits to the Preschools
• Time at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center to see the current exhibitions and ateliers, and to visit the Documentation and Educational Research Center
• Visits within the city of Reggio Emilia encountering the town community

Daily Schedule

The days are full. Typically we will begin at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. and end between 5:30 and
7:30 p.m. with a lunch break midday. Some evening options will be scheduled as well. The
organization of the days gives visibility to the values of the philosophy through a combination of center visits, plenary sessions, presentations, discussion groups and exchange of experiences between the participants and the pedagogistas, teachers and parents of the Reggio experience.

International Meeting Place

The venue for the study group is the Loris Malaguzzi International Center Loris Malaguzzi, which opened in February 2006 and has recently been completed. As described by Carlina Rinaldi, Pedagogista and President of Reggio Children, “It was created to give greater value to a strong and distinctive characteristic of Reggio Emilia; the ability to lend listening, visibility and support to the rights and requests of children, young people, families and teachers. The Center is a dedicated meeting place where professional development and research intersect for people in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the world who wish to innovate education and culture.”

Prior Preparation

Participants should be familiar with the history and fundamental principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to education so that they have some contextual framework before being immersed in the actual experience. Recommended readings are posted on the Articles page in the Print & Video Resources section of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) website: A general bibliography is posted in this section as well. Prior study group participants as well as first time visitors are welcome to attend.

Cost per person; $1,520
The Study Group cost includes the participation fee to Reggio Children and services provided by Angela Ferrario and International Study Tours, LLC. It does not include airfare or hotel accommodations.(hotel list attached with special rates for participants)

Participants are responsible for their own meals and for booking their flights and hotel.

Participation Fee to Reggio Children S.r.l. includes:
– The organization and presentation of the study group program for the week
– An informational folder for each participant with materials about the town of Reggio Emilia, its municipal infant-toddler center and preschools, Reggio Children, and the Loris Malaguzzi International Center
– Private bus transportation to and from the centers in Reggio Emilia when required by the program
– Professional interpreters when required by the program
– Insurance as specified in Responsibility clause below
– Refreshments during coffee breaks each day
Services provided by Angela Ferrario and International Study Tours, LLC include:
– Coordination of registration process and study group experience to support professional development, collaboration and collegiality among participants
– Facilitation of communication between study group organizers and colleagues at International Office of Reggio Children
– Compilation of participants’ brief professional narratives into a document that is distributed to the group and to Reggio Children
– Availability to participants by phone and email prior to departure
– Credit card services and foreign currency transfers

Hotel Information


Hotel Posta <[email protected]> (annex)

Single room Eur 58.00($77.33)

Double/Twin room Eur 87.00($115.99)

The rates are per room per night and inclusive of taxes and breakfast served at Hotel Posta (we are the Annex of this Hotel)


Hotel Posta

Piazza del Monte, 2

tel  +39 0522 – 432944

fax +39 0522 – 452602



Single room Eur79.00($105.32)

–          Double for shared occupancy Eur. 99.00(131.99)

–          Rates are meant er room per night and include taxes and buffet continental breakfast

tel  +39 0522 – 432944

fax +39 0522 – 452602


Albergo Delle Notarie <[email protected]>

twin room (2 beds) (single) ($93.32)and 105.00 (twin) ($139.99)breakfast included.


Albergo Morandi <[email protected]>

– single room            64.00 €($83.32)

– double room          95.00 €($126.65)

Buffet breakfast, a free service of cafteria during the day, wi-fi and garage are included.


Hotel San Marco

1 Single Room wiht breakfast included                                                      per room per night($66.66)

1 Double Room (2 Beds) with breakfast included                                                         per night ($99.99)


HOTEL EUROPA <[email protected]>

–          One single room 87,00 euro($115.99) per night

–          Twin room 107,00 euro ($142.65)per night

–          International breakfast

–          Internet Connection WIFI

–          Parking / Garage

Tel. +39 0522-432323

Fax. +39 0522-432442

[email protected]




1 Single Standard room 1 person BB (Bed & Breakfast)

($106.66) per room per night


1 Twin bedded room 2 persons BB (Bed & Breakfast)

($113.32)per room per night

Rate are including breakfast, outside parking, Fitness room, newspaper and Internet Acces from the room.



We offer three choice of breakfast:


Breakfast “GRAND REGAL” :         a buffet breakfast with the kind of choice that’s bound

to please.

Italian Breakfast ” Coffee&Croissants“:   quick and friendly, coffee and pastry at the bar.

With supplement:
Breakast “Dolce risveglio”  :            15,00 per person, the comfort of a breakfast in bed. Wake up in your time with