Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Week of the Young Child exhibit showcases children’s creativity

Jasmine Martinez
Children in the Cerritos College Child Development Center created various art projects on display. The Children’s Voices exhibit was held in the Student Center on April 17-20.

Cerritos College celebrated Week of the Young Child, April 16-20, through an exhibit showcasing the children’s year long work in the Child Development Center.

The annual week long event is through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which is an organization that promotes high-quality learning for young children.

Educators in the Cerritos College Child Development center focus on the Reggio Emilia Approach as a method of teaching, which values children as competent and capable.

“Woven into the teaching methods are elements of nature,” said Debra Ward, director of the child development center.

She said, “The Reggio Emilia Approach really resides in images and what children see are images in nature, the sky, you know, the sun, bugs… everything around them. So, nature really provides the possibilities of scientific inquiry and the possibility of discovering theories.”

Jerry Ramos, professor of business administration and parent of a child in the program, believes that the children getting to decide what they do for a portion of the day allows for creativity, flexibility and the opportunity to find love and passion in an area.

Sarahy Jimenez viewing her son's artwork created in the Cerritos College Child Development Center.

“This is an exhibit about the children’s project work, the work that the children do throughout the year based on individual interests,” said Ward, “Then the interests of the children are put together in small groups and then [the teachers] facilitate a project out of [those interests.]”

There is not a pre-set plan for the annual exhibits.

Substitute teacher for the child development center, Marilyn Hernandez, said teachers ask open-ended questions to keep ideas flowing and help facilitate their progress, but mainly take into consideration the children’s individual voices.

The core values of the child development center include strong images of the children being capable of such work, teacher education and support they give to the development of children, parent involvement and valuing children’s thinking mentioned Ward.

Sarahy Jimenez, parent of child in the program, emphasized her son’s excitement at seeing his work displayed.

“He wanted to come he was like ‘let’s go, let’s go!’” she said, “I think it’s really good, I think it motivates them to do better and I think it helps them to see like their art being put out.”

Ramos acknowledges the fruits of the staff’s labor, believes in the program and encourages those who make it work.

He said the children get to name their creations and take an analytical approach where they get to interpret their design.

“It [tells] children that it’s okay to explore, and that you can make something, anything beautiful and worthwhile. So, yeah I’m extremely proud and I [have] a lump in my throat,” Ramos commented on his daughter’s work.

Ramos encourages creativity by talking and reading to his children at an early age, but said the child development center takes learning to another level.

Ward is grateful and proud of the hard work from the staff and children and the center providing a space where children can explore and self-regulate the environment.

Science and art are combined in the learning experience at the child development center.

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Jasmine Martinez
Jasmine Martinez, Editor-in-Chief
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Week of the Young Child exhibit showcases children’s creativity