Research tells us that the arts are an integral part of learning about and understanding human development. For all people, the arts is the beating heart of childhood. Everything from a sense of beauty to a long, sorrowful note is tasted and held by our young. Environments where children are nurtured and loved are vital to the creation of smart, successful, happy, clever, funny, genuine, honest, loving humans. Thus, environments and classrooms should be dictated by an intentional understanding of the arts while also being organized, beautiful, thought-provoking, consciously organic and alive.
Much of what we do with the children focuses on introducing new concepts, materials and challenges while creating positive, rewarding learning experiences. A typical day incorporates routines that aid development in young children by creating a sense of security, an understanding of expectations, and a feeling of independence.
Part of what makes Livingston Street special is our commitment to outdoor time for children. We call our outdoor setting the play garden or the outdoor classroom. We are conscientious about giving children the space they need to roam in a natural environment, using the physical and biological landscape to teach and learn. In our outdoor classroom, we have trees to climb, loose parts to make forts, a hill with a winding path, salamanders hiding under rocks, large boulders, and three sandboxes. Children and teachers are encouraged to play, challenge themselves and find magic in the outdoors.
Our community is right outside the front door and offers art galleries, interesting people, parks, a boating port, shop keepers, museums, and a small grocery store. Creating an appreciation of community for young children is important because they develop a sense of place, an awareness of risk, and feeling of confidence. Also, our hope is that when they grow into adults, the children of Livingston Street will appreciate their own communities through volunteerism, voting, and developing a sense of civic responsibility.