Gina Crough on February 17, 2022
The JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) adopts an approach for the education of young children which is inspired by the ideas and practices in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The principles of the Reggio Approach resonate with the JCC’s mission to create an environment that nurtures people and connects community each day, through every age, inspired by Jewish values.
The Arts are a core component of ECDC’s approach because children intrinsically explore their curiosities through a myriad of expressive means. This approach emphasizes hands-on discovery that allows children to use all their senses, creativity, and expression to learn and grow.
During the first half of the school year, South Hills ECDC classrooms participated in a variety of sensory and process art experiences facilitated by Studio Specialist, Sara Foreman. These process art projects provided opportunities for the children to explore different materials and techniques individually as well as within a collaborative setting. The children were introduced to a wide range of art making techniques. Children explored creating a stained-glass effect using diluted glue, tissue paper, and plastic wrap. Texture exploration was investigated through use of various painting tools on a wet paint surface. The processes investigated during these individual projects, as well as others, were further explored throughout the long-term multimedia group collages that are on display.
The multimedia collage projects began with each classroom prepping their canvas with a base of white paint. Children also selected different loose parts and found materials to incorporate with glue and paint. Afterwards, the class decided upon a warm or cool color palette. This layer was applied to the developing canvas with a variety of painting tools, not exclusively limited to paint brushes. To finish the multimedia collages, children under two years old incorporated pieces of yarn dipped in glue; adding dimension and color to the piece. Children two and older used yarn as well as a variety of other loose parts to adhere to the surface. Tinted glue was utilized to fasten sections of beads to create the final work.
Gina Crough is Associate Director of Early Childhood Development for the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh. Gina oversees the daily operation of the JCC’s South Hills Early Childhood Development Center .