Founded in 2017, River East School was created to provide a nurturing and empathetic environment where the individuality and uniqueness of each child is celebrated and holistically supported. The River East School environment is designed to foster creative thinking, while providing families with the opportunity to become part of a truly unique community; one committed to excellence in early childhood learning and development. River East maintains small student-to-teacher ratios, beyond state requirements, to create a space where each child's thoughts and feelings are heard and valued. They play an active role in creating the curriculum, as it is inspired by the children's innate curiosity, and then guided and implemented by the teachers working alongside them.
The learning style and method needed for each individual child are given careful attention and teachers are able to supply the tools, materials, and activities to help their natural exploratory behaviors thrive. Fostering respect and compassion for one another, the natural world, and all of its inhabitants is the guiding principle behind our educational approach. Children are encouraged to develop a strong sense of self as active learners and participants as they come to understand the value and importance of being members of the greater community, and world at large.
River East School's mission is to create an exceptional early childcare environment which focuses on key areas such as social-emotional learning, art, health, wellness, nutrition, movement, creative exploration, and collaboration, where young children are supported as they learn and grow during a formative period of development. We hope to create a community of conscientious and engaged life-long learners, who are supported and encouraged to develop their natural interests and abilities to create positive change in the world around them. We believe education is a journey we chart together - for learning and development to happen organically, it must be communal and symbiotic--meaning the Friends’ curiosities and observations guide our teachers and allow us to develop curriculum together, propelled forward by our experience of the world around us and within us.
As one recent alumnus said “River East School is where you learn how to be you.”
We believe children naturally learn about the world around them through active exploration and play, which is heightened by conscious awareness and support of their individual strengths and interests. We believe teachers are most effective when developing curriculum that respect and explore each child's creative potential. We've designed the River East School environment to offer a rich landscape of opportunities for each child to learn according to their own pace and interests.
We regard the environment, our nutrition program, atelier, and diverse early literacy library as essential components of our program, among others. New concepts and skill-building opportunities are presented at appropriate developmental stages and then built upon through both structured activities, as well as imaginative and inquiry-based play. Our philosophy incorporates principles found in Loris Malaguzzi's Reggio Emilia Approach, Play and Inquiry-Based Learning, the Constructivist Approach to learning, and RIE methodology.
At River East, our intention is to help each child thrive in a deeply caring environment by offering tools for constant learning and multifaceted expression. We encourage and develop each child’s sense of self, capacity for care, imagination, and critical thinking abilities. We value the process of learning over academic instruction, which can hinder out-of-the-box, or beyond-the-box thinking and intuitive, relational understanding. We aspire to engage children’s hearts and minds as we practice hands-on learning, empathy-building, conflict resolution, and effective teacher role modeling. We believe in the power of language and effective communication, and its ability to break down barriers and allow greatness to unfold.
We believe children are born with innate intelligence, profound inner worlds, and emotional depth. We aspire to bring forth their innate wisdom and capabilities by allowing and observing their unique expression, which manifests through the language of play, exploration of the arts, immersive sensorial experiences, opportunities for gross and fine motor skill development, meditative and grounding breathwork, and consistently nutritious and delicious elevated organic meals and snacks each day. We believe positive early childhood experiences are vital to individual and social progress, which is why we endeavor to support children’s growth in the most intentional, artistic, consistent, and loving way possible.