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Childswork Learning Center

Explorers Director Fall 2016

It is my honor to step into the very large footprints of my predecessor, Laurie Jorgensen, who retired as Explorers and Licensing Director this past June. Laurie was dedicated to serving children and families while leading the Explorers program at Childswork Learning Center. She leaves a legacy of caring, compassion, and commitment to work that honors the unique developmental needs of the young child. The Childworks’ Explorers team of dedicated providers and I are passionately striving to continue that legacy.

Staff within Explorers includes:

  • Connie, our Lead Explorer Teacher
  • Sarita, our PM Explorers Teacher
  • April A., Lamiae, Kendra, Amber and Maia join Connie and Sarita in the Explorer classrooms
  • Susan and Liz are our nap room teachers
  • Crystal C., facilitates focused small-group activities
  • Margo opens for us at 7:30 AM and facilitates a wonderful period of discovery
  • Amber and Maia join at 8:00 AM to continue supporting and engaging children who need to start school before their classroom start times

What is Explorers? Explorers is an environment which supports, encourages, and fosters the work of children beyond their classroom experiences. While we operate before and after classroom times, we are much more than simply before and after care. Below are anecdotal examples of the work that has occurred in just the first few weeks of this 2016/2017 school year:

AM Explorers: Within the environment are dominoes - a black set and a white set. There are also chess pieces from an incomplete set, provided as a provocation for creative use. An older sibling, who had accompanied a Childswork student into the classroom at drop-off, pointed out that the dominoes could be placed alternately black/white, to create a chess board. This has created interest among some of the students regarding the game of chess. They have been practicing with the pieces which were available, making their own rules and meaning of the pieces. We now plan to acquire a complete chess set to encourage children to learn traditional rules, as well as the exciting game they've discovered on their own.

Room 12 Explorers: Connie brought in plastic bottles that children filled with assorted dried beans. The children decorated these bottles with tissue paper pieces. Once the bottles were dry, a dance party ensued featuring the children and their new creations. Maia, who has a musical background, and Connie are forming a plan for Maia to lead children in musical activities which allow them to explore rhythm using the instruments they have created.

Room 11 Explorers: Sarita offered aluminum foil to be used as a surface for using markers during the first week of school. She added other materials to the work area, keeping foil and markers as a constant. Over the next few weeks, the use of these materials have allowed students to create personal pieces. both two- and three-dimensional

Posted on October 6, 2016.
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About Childswork

Childswork Learning Center is a non-profit early childhood education school located in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, our school has served a diverse population of children and families, focusing on the development of the whole child with respect and compassion.

Childswork is a safe place for children to explore, take chances, make messes and learn through play. At Childswork we nurture wonder, we embrace joy, and we foster discovery.

Rights of Participation

No person shall be denied the services or facilities of this organization or be excluded from participation or services because of race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, religion, handicap, or national origin; discrimination of any kind is expressly prohibited.