Our son Julian has attended Clarion for almost a year, the biggest difference that we have seen is that he has blossomed from a somewhat shy and reticent boy to a confident and happy child.
Like most children, he is curious and has an unending list of questions about the world at large, Clarion encourages him to ask questions, to challenge what is presented to him and develop a love for learning.
If we ask him what he likes about his school, his answers vary from day to day. He details his experiences from baking cupcakes in Ms. Amla's co-curricular cooking class, programming dot and dash(robots) and learning coding with the Foos with Ms. Annie or creating self-portraits in art with Ms. Srei.
He talks about how visiting the Clarion library is so interesting because the children get to sit comfortably on beanbags while Ms. Meghan reads funny and interesting Caldecott award-winning books to them.
His teachers Ms. Emily Boudreau and Ms. Nancy work tirelessly to enhance his learning in a very interactive yet engaging way and we find that he comes home with profound questions. One late afternoon, he pointed to a pretzel and asked why it looked like the symbol infinity. So we had a discussion about how infinity can be represented spiritually, mathematically and philosophically; we certainly didn't have existential chats with our parents when we were six years old!
Clarion pays great attention to details--the beautiful architecture that has stone, bamboo and metal elements, the parents’ café that serves as a welcoming, informal meeting place, the holistic food that is served at the cafe, the beautiful windy “street” where you find children riding on tricycles, the sunny and airy atrium that hosts many a parent workshop for working and stay-at-home parents, the gallery-esque art studio and the spa-like swimming pool to name a few.
But much more important than its thoughtful and inspiring architecture, is the community of the people who work there. From Dr. Kandace Williams who is always enthusiastic to see the parents and children, Mr. Ben who is in charge of just about everything, Janina who greets tardy parents with a smile, and Asia and Gabrielle who seem to do just about everything.
In addition, the formula for their early success is the contribution of their passionate teachers and their dynamic and engaging curriculum. You will never find a Clarion teacher sitting at a desk. Instead, if you peek into your child’s class (which you can do at any time through large glass windows) you will find children milling around their teachers, chatting, observing, building and learning collaboratively.
The founding parents quite often talk about “the magic of Clarion” because it is inspiring to be part of a community where parents, children and educators hold hands seamlessly in a partnership that helps children attain their lofty goals no matter how big they are.
Janice Rego and Samish Kumar
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