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A conference developed by the 92nd Street Y and the Italian Cultural Institute

“A grass-roots project that has become an international role model.” – Newsweek

More Than 700 People will attend the Conference on a ground-breaking approach to early childhood education that has captured worldwide attention. Speakers include renowned early childhood experts Kyle Pruett and Ron Lally, and educational leaders from the Reggio Emilia, Carla Rinaldi and Sandra Piccinini.“A grass-roots project that has become an international role model.” – Newsweek Press event Thursday, November 29, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue at 68th Street) Conference & workshops Friday, November 30, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street) A month before it was scheduled to take place, the first New York conference on a once-obscure educational approach pioneered in the 1960s in the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia was sold out. The event is drawing participants from as far away as California and from nine states as well as the District of Columbia. The town of Reggio Emilia and its early childhood education philosophy have captured the imagination of educators around the world. The popularity of the Reggio Emilia approach in the United States can be traced to 1991, when “Newsweek” named Reggio Emilia’s preschools the best in the world, describing them as “a grass-roots project that has become an international role model.” Over the years, and with the help of a Reggio off-shoot created for this very purpose, thousands of educators have traveled to Italy from around the world to see the Reggio Emilia approach in action. The Reggio philosophy has won the support of top early childhood experts including Harvard’s Howard Gardner, Yale’s Kyle Pruett, New York University’s Jerome Bruner, Tufts’ David Elkind, and Ron Lally, co-director of the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies. Finally, including the U.S., the Reggio method has been incorporated into the curricula of schools in 15 countries, the others being Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. The conference, “Reggio Emilia: Vision and Practice,” which will take place at the 92nd Street Y on Friday, November 30, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Delivering the conference’s keynote and closing addresses will be a group of American and Italian child development experts: Kyle Pruett, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale, an internationally known child psychiatrist, and an expert on children and family relationships; Ron Lally, co-director of San Francisco’s WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies and a nationally known early childhood educator; Carlina Rinaldi, president of Reggio Children, a public-private partnership that shares the Reggio approach with educators around the world; and Sandra Piccinini, Reggio Emilia’s commissioner of education and culture. Lella Gandini, who, as Reggio Emilia’s U.S. liaison, is responsible for introducing the Reggio approach to educators throughout the country, will lead an afternoon workshop. The Reggio Emilia conference is the natural outgrowth of both the warm relationship between the 92nd Street Y and the Italian Cultural Institute, a longtime champion of the Reggio Emilia initiative, and the 92nd Street Y’s longstanding and wide-ranging early childhood program. The Y has seven decades of experience in the field starting with the 1938 founding of its nursery school, which continues to operate to this day and has become one of the city’s most popular preschools.


Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2007