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Planting Seeds of Wisdom
Nurturing Young Minds at Wisdom Tree Children's Center

 

Greetings Dear Community Members,

 

I am delighted to introduce myself as the Director of Wisdom Tree Children's Center, and I am thrilled to share the story of our school with you. It is my hope that through this article, you will gain insight into our vision, values, and what sets us apart as a nurturing and educational institution for young minds.

 

Why We Established Wisdom Tree Children's Center

 

From a very young age, I have had a deep affection for children. Whenever I see little children, my eyes are instantly drawn to them, and it puts a smile on my face witnessing their innocence and curiosity. It wasn’t until one day that my friends noticed this passion I had for children and suggested that I become an early childhood teacher. It was at this moment that this question resonated with me and made me thought: "Why not?" I have always firmly believed that early childhood educators play a pivotal role in shaping a child's life, and the decision to send a child to preschool can significantly impact their future.

 

Reflecting on my own childhood, I never had the opportunity to attend preschool. While I had enjoyed a happy childhood playing with friends, I couldn't help but wonder how different my life might have been had I experienced the added benefits of preschool education. A preschool teacher's keen observations and the introduction of stimulating activities could have enriched my early experiences. Because I missed that opportunity, it strives me to want to provide more children with the opportunity to attend a children's school. The foundation of Wisdom Tree Children's Center was born from this aspiration.

 

If I Was a Child, What Kind of School Would I Like?

 

If I was a child, I would want my school to be a safe and welcoming place, where I could explore the world with a sense of security. I would hope for the teachers to act as mentors, partners, and facilitators in my learning journey rather than authoritarian figures who merely issue commands. I hope I can truly enjoy learning from the depths of my heart and explore the world, not just to pursue outstanding academic achievements, and not out of fear that I would face harsh criticism if I didn't excel academically or behave as a perfectly obedient child.

 

As a child, I would also want to savor the present while building a strong foundation for my future. This is why mindfulness is one of our core beliefs at Wisdom Tree Children's Center. We aim to instill in our young learners the ability to focus on the present moments while preparing them for a bright future.

 

My capstone paper at Tufts University is all about my vision for Wisdom Tree Children’s Center. I welcome anyone who is interested about this topic to contact me for further details about our school's vision.

 

What is Our Uniqueness?

 

  1. Our Professional Educators and Consultants

 

Wisdom Tree Children’s Center takes pride in our consultants and the team of highly qualified teachers who are passionate about early childhood education.

 

      a) Our Professional Educators

 

Jinchong (Chong) Liu, Director Certification: In order to pursue my dream, I obtained a Master's degree in Child Study and Human Development from the Eliot Pearson Department at Tufts University, and another Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. Fortunately, I had the valuable experience of receiving training and working as a counselor and fellow at the world-renowned Eliot Pearson Lab Children's School at Tufts University. There, I had the opportunity to meet more excellent experts in Child Development and was fortunate to get to know the consultants for our current children's school. They have provided me with a lot of advice and guided me in pursuing my dream. I also worked, volunteered, or visited other exceptional childcare programs, such as the Temple Beth Shalom Children's Center and childcare program on Harvard campus, immersing myself in diverse educational environments.

 

Ann Lacey, Lead teacher Certification: Ann holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and boasts nearly three decades of experience in the teaching profession. Her passion lies in nurturing the minds of young children, a calling that resonates deeply within her. Beyond her pedagogical skills, Ann is a remarkably creative individual. She excels as an artist and takes great delight in introducing children to a wide array of artistic mediums, including but not limited to acrylic paints, cray-pas, liquid watercolors, and an array of other inspiring tools and materials. Furthermore, Ann possesses an exceptional talent for storytelling. The mere mention of her storytelling sessions brightens the eyes of children, as they eagerly await the captivating tales she weaves.

 

Yukiko Hudgins, Director Certification: Yukiko brings over 16 years of valuable experience in nurturing young children. Despite holding director certification, she remains deeply dedicated to her professional growth, continuously enrolling in a diverse range of courses to explore various educational philosophies and integrate them into her daily interactions with young learners. Her serene and optimistic demeanor creates an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere at the school. She possesses a remarkable talent for observing and comprehending children, effectively following their lead and facilitating meaningful interactions. Yukiko is adept at guiding children towards crafting their unique life narratives. Additionally, Yukiko loves to play musical instruments, like piano, to introduce children to the enchanting world of music.

      b) Our Esteemed Consultants

Our consultants bring invaluable expertise to Wisdom Tree Children’s Center, enhancing your child's educational journey:

 

Dr. Kerri Modry-Mandell: Dr. Kerri Modry-Mandell is a faculty member in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. Her extensive expertise lies in Pediatric Psychology and Family Studies and Human Development. Her teaching portfolio encompasses a wide range of both graduate and undergraduate courses. We anticipate collaborating with Dr. Modry-Mandell to organize enlightening workshops designed to engage with parents/caregivers. These workshops will serve as a platform for addressing parents’/caregivers’ queries and enhancing parenting skills. Additionally, Dr. Modry-Mandell will contribute her expertise by providing professional development and training opportunities for our team of educators.

 

Kaori Hattori de Panepinto: Kaori has over 16 years of consulting experience, both in the United States and Japan, and more than 32 years of experience working in the ECE field in Massachusetts as a toddler/preschool teacher, child care director, Japanese school kindergarten teacher, coach, mentor, and special education coordinator.

Kaori holds a pivotal role in the establishment of our school. She provides guidance, presents challenges, and introduces our director, Chong, to various outstanding early childhood institutions for valuable learning experiences. Through Kaori's consulting services, we hold a strong belief that Wisdom Tree Children's Center will excel as a high-quality educational institution for children.

 

Lynne May Lim, M.A.T., early childhood education consultant/trainer. With over 30 years of experience in early childhood education as classroom teacher and administrator, Lynne May trains, coaches, and mentors experienced and novice educators in the areas of curriculum development, emergent and integrated approach to teaching and learning, science and technology/engineering for young children, and anti-bias/anti-racist education. Currently, she is a member of the administrative team at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School @ Tufts University.

 

    2. Creating a Diverse Environment

 

I am driven to create a diverse environment for our children, and I'd like to share two impactful stories that have shaped my commitment to this cause.

 

There was a heartbreaking instance the occurred during my time at a former children’s school where I worked for that one of my lovely girls gazed at me and said, "Chong, I like your skin color; it's white. But I do not like mine. It is too dark." The hint of sadness in her eyes and the lack of confidence that resonated with her as she said that shocked me. I felt deeply saddened that this little girl wasn't confident in her own identity. “I think your skin color is also beautiful! We all look different, but we are all wonderful! You are special, pretty, and important just because of being who you are.” as I said it with a sincere attitude and a firm tone. As I said these words to her, her eyes began to sparkle as she looked at me with a new profound confidence. It felt great to put a smile back on her face and made her feel proud of who she was and acceptable to know that we are all unique in our own ways!

 

There was also another poignant moment that occurred during my time at a former children’s school where I worked for when a sweet and bright 5-year-old boy asked me, "Is China America's enemy?" His question initially startled me and broke my heart. I responded by saying, "Chinese politics and American politics may not always agree, but Chinese people and American people are fond of each other. Look, you're American, and I'm Chinese, but we love and care for each other, right?" He stared at me for several seconds with his clear blue eyes and then nodded with a sweet smile. His smile made my heart warm knowing that we may come from different backgrounds, but we accept and care for each other the same way!

 

These experiences have reinforced my desire to foster a diverse environment for our children, offering them the opportunity to explore a wider world and expand their horizons by immersing themselves in different cultures. My hope is that our children take pride in who they are and where they come from. I aspire to nurture respect, care, and love among them, empowering them to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to discern truth. In this way, they can cultivate their own "wisdom trees," in line with our center's name, Wisdom Tree Children's Center. I envision our school as an inclusive and welcoming community.

 

Our team of educators is diverse, hailing from different parts of the world and bringing a rich tapestry of cultures into our program. We strive to introduce different languages and cultures to our children. Moreover, we warmly welcome family members who speak other languages to visit our classroom, engaging in activities such as reading and singing, to expose our young learners to the richness of our diverse world.

 

   3. Spacious, Comfortable, Aesthetically Pleasing, and Inclusive Environment

 

We firmly believe that the environment serves as the third teacher for children. Consequently, we have meticulously crafted a spacious, comfortable, visually appealing, and inclusive space for our children to explore and thrive.

 

Our classroom spans a generous 2182.5 square feet. We understand that young children are naturally active, whether indoors or outdoors. The ample space at our classroom allows us to establish a dedicated gross motor area where children can engage in energetic play. Importantly, this gross motor area is strategically situated away from our quiet area to ensure that children engaged in active play do not disturb those immersed in quiet activities.

 

Young children are more sensitive to their environment than adults, and they notice finer details in the world around them. This means they can also become easily overstimulated in harsh, loud, and cluttered environments. Therefore, we intentionally create an organized and aesthetically pleasing environment. For instance, our choice of neutral, warm colors for walls, floors, and furnishings serves as a calming backdrop for the careful arrangement of engaging materials, documentation of the children's work, and displaying other beautiful objects. These color choices enhance the children's ability to relax and be fully present, rather than overwhelming or distracting them. In alignment with our core value, we maintain a strong connection to the natural world. We make every effort to incorporate elements of nature into our classroom and plan to build another playground, crafting it in a natural style.

 

Furthermore, our environment reflects the diverse backgrounds of our children, fostering a sense of connection and belonging among our students and their families. We diverge from the institutional and commercial child programs characterized by uniformity and rigidity, which often feel disconnected from children's real lives. Instead, we have fashioned an environment that exudes a homely atmosphere, where children feel secure and comfortable, recognizing that they truly belong to the school. We have intentionally established a family gathering area to encourage open communication between parents, guardians, and teachers. Our aim is to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for both our children and their families.

 

Visit Us and Learn More

 

We invite you to visit our center at 34 Dix Street, Winchester, MA 01890. Explore our programs and discover more about our approach by visiting our website at www.bwisdomtree.com. Please don't hesitate to contact us at (617) 991-0528 or email us at info@bwisdomtree.com for further information. We eagerly look forward to partnering with you on your child's educational journey.

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