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Childswork Learning Center

Explorers Director Winter 2017

In the Fall newsletter I tried to give you a glimpse of what happens in Explorers. I would like to continue that perspective by reporting on an enhancement that we are incorporating into our program-Story Studio. Two of the goals of this effort is to give each Explorer an opportunity to join children from morning classrooms from which they may not otherwise intersect and to promote story creation by utilizing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) principles and activities in a collaborative arena. Children who come to Explorers on a regular basis are offered an opportunity to join Crystal C. (one of our Room 1 AM Teachers) and a few other Explorer students once every two weeks. These bi-weekly groups remain as consistent as is possible given the varied schedules that are represented in the Explorers program. Below are examples of how each group’s story has unfolded in a unique way.

In one small group, students began by inventing with loose parts and decided they were eager to create a setting in which a million stories could be told. This led to a landscape made of tissue paper and glue and paint- from which they and other classes have indeed begun to play a million different stories.

Another small group of Explorers have thought deeply within the genre of mystery and suspense, creating a story of clues. In creating their mysterious clues they have also investigated how to create specific effects using shadows and water.

A third group has focused on the development of their characters that live in a forest where ghosts live. Their story has been growing out of themselves as they don their masks and act out their characters.

In a different group, Explorers engaged in dramatic play as the setting changed every so often- first outer space, then a doctor’s office, then a forest. What emerged was a constant theme of individual space within the story. Each person always had their own room in every scenario. They are now designing their individual houses in a city where the story of their book will happen.

An additional piece of information concerning Explorers is that Hazel Gaffney, a grandparent of a child here at Childswork, has joined our teaching team. She helps with our youngest group of Explorers (2.7 and 3 year classroom students), Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Thank you for allowing the Explorers staff to interact with your children in the early morning and in the afternoon. We are enjoying the challenge of meeting individual needs, providing time to relax and reflect as well as to explore through play which is expressed through imagination, exploration, collaboration, cooperation and anticipation. As Director, I observe these expressions among the children and among the staff. We are having great experiences and much fun – a perfect environment for learning.



Posted on January 25, 2017.
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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.