Learning Theory

Children’s knowledge deserves to be listened to and made visible.

Our Inspiration, Our Commitment, Our Responsibility.

L’Atelier School was conceived in 1995 from the belief that children are born with an innate creative potential and curiosity to learn. They are eager to understand the world and construct their own theories about how it functions. The educators in Reggio Emilia inspired us to envision a new concept of school. Their strong Image of the Child and their innovative approach to education- renown in the world as the best early childhood approach- proposes to rethink the meaning of the word to educate. It derives from the Latin word "ex-ducere" which offers the concept that knowledge deserves to be brought out instead of filled in.

L’Atelier School develops its unique identity becoming an Atelier with a School inside. For the past 23 years, the faculty of the school has been researching the meaning and relationship between teaching and learning. A strong and continuous investment in professional development focuses on studying connections between contextual curriculum and creative learning. The pedagogy of listening brings the fundamental values that sustain our work. It becomes the on going attitude that takes us to analyze how the construction of knowledge takes place in reference to the different learning styles, the diverse languages of expression, the intelligent environments and the projections and analysis of children’s and adult’s work. Assessment derives from our research and fosters evolution and innovation of our school.

Learning takes place when ideas, concepts and theories are shared in a social context. It is through human relations that all intelligences sprout. The awareness of these diverse styles gives birth to a common conscious creative learning.

At L’Atelier School, creativity is seen as an innate intelligence, which connects all the diverse ways of thinking of human beings. Therefore, it enables them to achieve their inherent right of potential, happiness, and success.

Get to Know Us

Creating a Community of Learners
The School is formed by Children, Teachers and Parents

Meet the School

Welcome by Simonetta Cittadini

Founder and Executive Director of
L'Atelier School and
Center for the Culture of Creativity

Click photo for
Simonetta's Bio

Welcome! Bienvenidos! Benvenuti! Bienvenu! Bem Vindos!


It is my pleasure to introduce you to L'Atelier School and to the Center for the Culture of Creativity, known as CCC.

As you glance through the images and writings of our experience, we invite you to feel the essence of L’Atelier and the CCC through this media.

We believe it is important to create a new and innovative style of learning and teaching. We made the strong choice to fight for the rights of children and to develop a school where their time is invested in contextual social learning with creativity at the center. A school whose mission is deeply connected to its purpose of citizenship, wellbeing, creative learning and children’s rights. The partnership between the School, the Community, and the CCC invites for a renewed vision of education, a new way of doing school. More and more in today’s world, we believe in the importance of investing in the power of creative learning as an essential element that unlocks potential, sensibility and sensitivity to one self, humanity and the world.

It is up to us!

What a pleasure to have you part of our community!

Warmly,


Simonetta Cittadini

Young Toddlers

Toddlers

Class of 3s

Junior Kindergarten

Kindergarten

L'Atelier

Meet the Parents

PAL is the Parents Association of L'Atelier

Welcome by Heather Stenstrom
President of PAL

Click photo for
Heather's Bio

PAL Events Calendar

Dear Parents of L’Atelier


L’Atelier School welcomes a community of diverse cultures encountering each other in the context of early education. We believe that this encounter offers many possibilities to collaborate.

Inclusion is a strong value at L’Atelier and as such, all parents of L’Atelier are included in the Parents Association. Parents are important and valued citizens of L’Atelier, collaborating in the education of children. The school wishes to create strong connections between children, teachers and parents in creating our community and we consider parents as strong pillars in our community.

Participation is also a strong value that we consider important to the context of our school. However, what we mean by participation is not so much how much time or money you give, but moreover, exploring the diverse and creative ways that we, as parents, stay connected, sharing our talents, communicating with the school and being part of the community. We invite you to Be Part in many different ways that suit your desire and time available to participate.

During the school year, L’Atelier offers the parents many different opportunities to engage, learn together and relate to what is happening at school. From entire school meetings to class meetings to individual meetings to ateliers, celebrations and events and coffees, there are many ways to Be at school. Participation in the meetings offered by teachers and the school is strongly encouraged as it is at those meetings that important dialogues about our children, education and our society are born. It is in those moments of connection and dialogue that we can experience the value of communication in a strong way observing the children’s work, their thinking, creating and doing. We encounter the opportunity to be inspired.

We invite all parents to consider what it means to be a parent and a parent at L’Atelier, and how you would like to become a piece of the structural pillars that sustain all of us through your interests.

Fondly,


Heather Stenstrom

President of PAL

About PAL

PARENTS ASSOCIATION of L’ATELIER, PAL was born in the year 2004 with the intention to strengthen the communication and participation of the parents with and at the school.

PAL is an organization for and about all of the parents of L’Atelier. This means that when you enroll your child in the school you automatically become part of our community.

PAL has a mission to offer different opportunities to children and parents to become part of a community where citizenship, inclusion, participation, learning and communication are strong values.

PAL is about you! What you like and who you are makes PAL unique. Share yourself!

Our strong wish is that all parents find a way to participate at school. There are traditional opportunities to be part of the community by participating in organizing events. However, we invite you to consider what you enjoy doing, your talents and interests and connect with the school in a new way. Inspired by what your child is doing at school, maybe you will think of a way to collaborate with the children and teachers?

The general organization of the PAL takes place at Back to School night and the week that follows.

PAL Committees

Historically, we have organized committees based on the values of Culture, Our School Environment, the Environment and our Earth, Parenting, Fundraising and Celebrations!

Culture

We believe in the importance of bringing Miami’s cultural events to the attention of our school community. As we described earlier, living in a vibrant city experiencing a cultural evolution offers us many possibilities to connect with the many cultures making up the culture of Miami. We invite parents to create awareness of these possibilities in Miami in order to organize field trips and outings or to simply create awareness and visibility at school for children, teachers and parents

Our School Environment

Through innovation and thinking, we evolve our school's environment to offer the children an environment that is high in quality and full of learning potential. We invite you to collaborate in offering new ideas and possibilities related to our school environment as well as offering your talents and interests in maintaining the environment.

Going Green

Nature and our surroundings are strong protagonists in our daily life. We support parents and children in becoming aware of our environment, the importance of recycling, gardening and taking care of the planet.

Parenting

Other parents often make the best advisors when it comes to parenting topics. We believe in the value of communication and sharing information. We invite parents to collaborate in organizing moments for us to meet to learn and discuss topics related to parenting. Some suggestions include the role of media and its effect on children, the importance of good nutrition, and bringing the Reggio approach into your everyday life.

Fundraising

As we are continuously evolving and innovating at school, we believe in the importance of participation by our school community in raising funds to continue to offer the highest quality to our children in environment, materials, teachers and atelieristas. We invite parents to organize one or two small fundraisers in collaboration with the school.

Events

There are many opportunities to participate in organizing Celebrations at L'Atelier, in big and small ways! We invite you to collaborate with the school and the classrooms in organizing the following Celebrations:

  • Halloween Party
  • Thanksgiving Luncheon Holiday Party
  • Valentine’s Day Celebration
  • Cultural Carnival
  • Book fair
  • Mother’s Day Luncheon
  • Faculty Appreciation

  • End of school year Celebration
  • Father’s Day
  • Graduation

Testimonials

Meet the Faculty

We are engaged in studying, understanding and analyzing.

Welcome by Ana Pineda
Pedagogical Coordinator of L’Atelier

Click photo for
Ana Pineda's Bio

The faculty at L’Atelier is engaged in studying, understanding and analyzing what the “image of the child” means. Through the years the relationship with young children from a variety of cultures has supported and provoked us to not only learn to listen to the child but also, to perceive him and her with respect, intelligence, love, trust and confidence. The study of the image of the child is an endless learning process for adults. Our journey to education is linked to this continuous research where learning is based on dialogue, observation, interpretation and making children’s learning visible.

We purposefully welcome different talents in our team as they bring different points of view of the world and of the innate potential of human beings.

Warmly,


Ana Pineda

Pedagogical Coordinator of L’Atelier

Our Teachers

Candice Acevedo was born in Venezuela where she graduated from Preschool Education and Management Education from Metropolitana University. At the age of 24 she moved to the United States where she continued to invest in Early Education and had the opportunity for ten years to develop and run a preschool program in the area of Doral. In 2014 she joins the faculty of L’Atelier School as the Admissions Director. Being part of the school has given her a renewed vision to education. In her opinion, the Reggio Emilia approach is not just an educational approach, but a way of respecting childhood and understanding the importance of responsibility, communication and sense of community among parents, teachers and children. The last four years at the school have given her the opportunity to grow as a human being, to learn from her colleagues, and to value all the possible connections that develop when professional development is a pillar of the educational experience. She is honored to be an ambassador of L’Atelier vision and mission and pursues her role as a connecting bridge between the community and quality in education.

Admissions Director

Enith Lascarro was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She moved to Miami in December of 2009 to pursue her education. She continued her professional education at the Miami International University of Arts and Design, MIU, where completed a bachelors of arts in Interior Design. At MIU she learned the arts of graphic design of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. She is also fully trained on 3D dimensional software and rendering like AutoCAD, Revit & 3DsMax. She developed observational drawing, pottery, photography, and color theory. Her qualifications in the design world made her a finalist on the Design Enlightenment Challenge hosted by a local interior designer. Her passion has always been art and design. “Being part of the process of creativity it’s what makes art and design my passion and life”. Enith has also developed finance and business experience at an interior design firm, where she was responsible for the financial management and budgeting. She is the office manager of L’Atelier School and the CCC. She Combining creativity and finances and offers a waste view of a business.

Office Manager

Angela Murcia was born and raised in Colombia and moved to the United States where she obtained a degree in psychology. She is very passionate about children, their development and different ways in which they interact, think and learn. She holds a special interest in different cultures and Mother Nature. For the last 10 years, Angela has developed a significant experience in all age groups. Being a faculty member of L’Atelier has offered her the opportunity to invest in the meaning of complexity, quality, creativity and research in education. She has attended multiple professional development initiatives in different contexts of the US as well as she has consulted with local schools. She sustains the vision that exchanging experience with others is a strong value not only for a professional growth and evolution but also for the growth of an entire community of learners. This school year Angela is the teacher of the class of the 3s as well as the Spanish teacher in the afternoon enrichment program at L’Atelier.

Young Toddlers

Carolina Calderón Medina was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She graduated in 1989 with an associate degree in computer programming. She worked in the educational field in Venezuela for ten years as an Administrative Director. Carolina joined L’Atelier in 2017 in the class of the 1s. It has been a rewarding experience, full of experiences and learning with children. She has participated to the professional development program offered by L’Atelier. She has completed “Child Growth and Development” and “Special Rights Appropriate Practices” courses. As part of the faculty, Carolina invests in professional development and looks forward to continue to understand

Young Toddlers

Amanda Rodriguez was born in New York and was strongly influenced by her family educational background. She obtained a degree in Early Childhood Education and has been teaching since 2004 at various schools where her focus has been to understand children’s diverse styles of learning, and the various approaches to education. In 2010 she encountered L' Atelier. A strong feeling of home and community invaded her and since then she has had the pleasure teaching the classes of the 2s, 3s and Jr. k. Amanda has participated to several professional development initiatives at L’Atelier School, as well as NAREA and Reggio Children national conferences. She participated to the IV Summer Institute in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2017.

This school year she encounters the Class of the 2s. Expanding together with children, parents and teachers, the knowledge of the “Natural world” through the developments of daily “Symbolic Narratives” of children.

Toddlers

Nancy Sparrow was born in Lima, Peru. As a child she had the opportunity to spend much time playing sports and developed a strong passion for gymnastics, swimming and athletics. She has always had a connection with children and sports. She worked at Centro de Educacion Inicial of Ministerio de Pesqueria (Lima, Peru) and at Diamond Elementary School in Fort Stewart, Georgia as a teacher assistant in the E.S.O.L. program. Nancy is a swimming instructor certified by the Red Cross. Since 2009 Nancy has had the pleasure to work at L’Atelier School as a teacher assistant, co teacher and after school coordinator. She has specialized in the class of the 2 years old. Each year is a different learning experience of knowledge and anecdotes that fulfill her as an educator and as a person. She is also part of the early and aftercare team, which is a big privilege and commitment. As a member of the afterschool team she has developed an afterschool program year. Nancy welcomes this year as a new challenge and I plan to bring all of my experience and passion. Welcome to all!

Toddlers

Isabel Coles-Elie was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At age of 13 she moved to Montreal, Canada where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Her journey with the Reggio Emilia approach began in 2003 when she joined L’Atelier faculty. As a teacher, over the past 14 years she has had the opportunity to work with different age groups, acquiring teaching and mentoring experience and knowledge. Every new year and experience have brought her layers in her journey of understanding children’s style of constructing knowledge and learning.

She has attended many different professional development initiatives where she has had the privilege of presenting throughout the United States and Canada and participated in two important Study Groups in Reggio Emilia in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Isabel has also consulted schools in Miami.

All of these professional initiatives offered by the school together with her deep personal desire to continuously study and learn about early childhood education shaped who she is today as a person and as a teacher.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy becomes more than an approach of teaching and learning, it becomes a set of values of life that we no longer negotiate. Value of collaboration, value of communication, value of relationships are at the base of Isabel experiences in the classroom and they continue to show her that learning is not separated from life but that they come together in a harmonious way, keeping them together is vital when building learning processes.

This school year, Isabel is teaching in the class of the Kindergarten in connection with the Jr. K classroom. She has been with the same group of children since they began their school experience at the age of two.

3s

María Paula Cubides was born in Bogota Colombia, she became a chemical engineer in April of 2018 from the National University of Colombia with a thesis about the formulation of a special cereal bar for athletes with Palatinose. She loves to play the violin and she is also a violet belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. She thinks that the combination of these different skills give discipline and serenity to a person. Her interest in early Childhood Education took her to to workout in the Montessori program with children ranging from 3 to 6 years old. She joins the team at L’Atelier with the vision to use her passion, talent and learning as a changing force that brings to the world of school a more contextual learning for all. She is looking forward to learn more about the Reggio Emilia philosophy, specifically in the analysis of how children think and how they perceive the world.

3s

Romina Alessandria was born in Argentina where she received a degree in Psychology. Later, she worked in the Service Assistance at the School of Psychology where she had the opportunity to relate and support children with learning disabilities. She completed a Masters degree in Exceptional Student Education at Nova University guided by the necessity to understand in which ways she can support diverse children in inclusive environments to accomplish their dreams. When she moved to Miami, she became part of L’Atelier where she has had the opportunity to work in the different classes from the age of ones to Jr. Kindergarten and learn about the Reggio Emilia philosophy and pedagogy. From 2007 to present she has attended to various Reggio Emilia conferences and seminars in United States and in Reggio Emilia, Italy. In her professional journey at L’ Atelier she has combined her main interests, which are psychology and childhood education. It is a rewarding and challenging journey that implies a strong commitment and the desire to be in a permanent dialogue with others and to learn with and from children. It is also an enriching journey, because it is a reciprocal experience where the more you learn about children, the more you learn about yourself; and the more you advocate for children’s rights and their strong image, the more you can produce a transformation in the community and in yourself.

This school year Romina is very happy to come back to the Jr. K Class and I feel motivated to be part of the projects we are envisioning with Isabel Coles for the Jr.K & Kindergarten Class.

Jr. K

Maria Vanessa Rivas was born and raised in Miami, FL with a strong Nicaraguan background. In 2013, she received her Bachelors in Psychology with a focus on children and adolescents from Florida International University. It was while studying there that she discovered her passion for yoga. Shortly after taking a compacted semester abroad to the Sivananda Ashram in 2012, she completed her first 200 hour training to become a Registered Yoga Teacher.

After graduating from FIU, Maria pursued her love for teaching children. She started as a teacher assistant helping with Pre-K – 5 th grade classes. Then, in 2014 she began working at a Title I Middle School as a math teacher. It was during her four years teaching middle school where she became increasingly aware of how quickly children are asked to follow a specific method for learning at the expense of their personal strengths and creativity. Wanting to counteract the rigidness of the classroom with something that could empower children of all learning styles and abilities, she established a pilot after-school yoga and mental wellness program.

It was her vision of keeping students connected to their own personal strengths that led to her joining the team at L’Atelier. Here she is excited to combine her own knowledge with the Reggio Emilia philosophy in order to assist in children’s learning while ultimately recognizing that the children will be assisting in her own learning as well.

Kindergarten

Leo Chiano was born in Argentina where he worked as a physical education teacher, swimming instructor, and lifeguard for five years. Sports and physical education are a fundamental part of Leo’s life. Soccer, specifically, is one of his passions and a sport that he practices every day. The world of the body, its physical education and health are essential to life. They not only provide physical development but also are a tool to build fundamental values. Some of these values include being part of a team, learning to have respect for the other, and learning the skill of compromise. Leo has been working at L’Atelier for 12 years. He brought to the school the swimming program and subsequently in 2007 he implemented the physical education program. L'Atelier entered into a deeper research of the body and its functioning. In fact, in 2010, the project “Bodyness” was born. It has been a marvelous experience to learn from the children and witness how they express their ideas and concepts through their very own and original Bodyness. Leo admires children’s development and the connections they make in creativity.

Physical Education

House Keeping

Our History

Click on the thumbnails to see a slideshow of the year

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    1995

    Dream

    Birth of and Educational Project --Opening of L’Atelier Art Workshop for Children

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    1997

    Enthusiasm and Vision

    Opening of New Campus in South Miami. Mayor of the city of south Miami plants a tree in occasion of the opening of the school.

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    1998

    Inspiration

    First Winter Institute in Reggio Emilia

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    1999

    First View of “The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit” from Reggio Emilia, Italy in Wyoming.

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    2000

    Collaboration

    Amelia Gambetti visits L’Atelier for the first time. A strong collaboration is born

    First Expansion of L’Atelier

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    2001

    Exchange

    AStudy Group to Reggio Emilia, connected to the World Forum on Education at Athens Greece. Simonetta Cittadini presents L’Atelier experience in Reggio Emilia

    First Reggio Emilia Summer Institute in Boulder, Colorado

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    2002

    Effort

    Second expansion of L’Atelier School

    CONNECTING NORTH AMERICA

    NAREA is launched at the meeting of the National Association for the education of young children in New York City.

    Simonetta Cittadini - Founding Member of NAREA

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    2003

    NIDO Class opens at L’Atelier

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    2004

    Investment

    Crossing Boundaries International Conference in Reggio Emilia

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    2005

    Celebration with the Community

    Birth of Florida Reggio Collaborative

    Opening of the exhibit The Hundred Languages of Children from Reggio Emilia, Italy

    Tenth Anniversary of L’Atelier

    Pedagogy of listening

    Conference hosted by L’Atelier School at Florida International University

    “ The power of Collaboration” with Carla Rinaldi

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    2006

    Strenghthening Relationships

    L’Atelier invests in evolution. The awareness of our roots launches our school. NAREA at NAEYC

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    2007

    Strenghthening Relationships

    Second Spring Reggio Emilia Conference with Amelia Gambetti NAREA seminar

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    2008

    ENCHANTMENT DETERMINATION AND COMMITMENT

    Fundamental principles” in collaboration with Lella Gandini Lella Gandini at L’Atelier School

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    2009

    ENCHANTMENT DETERMINATION AND COMMITMENT

    Fundamental principles” in collaboration with Lella Gandini Lella Gandini at L’Atelier School

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    2010

    Citizenship

    L’Atelier School has transformed through the years into an Atelier with a School inside, going back to its initial essence. Creativity and Intelligence are strongly linked to our style of working.

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    2011

    THE VALUE OF THE COMMON GOOD

    What role does our school have in front of the society?

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    2012

    THE VALUE OF THE COMMON GOOD

    What role does our school have in front of the society?

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    2013

    IDENTITY AND THE CITY

    Birth of the Project EmpathiCity

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    2014

    INVESTMENT IN THE COMMUNITY

    Collaboration with Centro Cultural Baby Gym , Barranquilla Colombia

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    2015

    20 Yr. Anniversary

    The Florida Reggio Collaborative hosts the Exhibit “The Wonder of Learning”

    Elementary Art project is born

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    2016

    reflection

    Chairs Elementary Art Project

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    2017

    CONTINUE TO DREAM

    L’Atelier opens the Center for the Culture of Creativity.

    Art Couture Art Project

    Summer School in Reggio Emilia

    Opening of the Center for the Culture of Creativity

    With the Collaboration of Amelia Gambetti and Jennifer Azzarriti

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    2018

    SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

    Marrion ART Elementary Art Project

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