"Children have the right to grow in places that are well maintained and pleasant, and schools cannot be exempt from this responsibility. Attention to the aesthetic dimension is a pedagogical practice that provides excellent results, given that the search for beauty, in the fullest sense, is part of the autonomous thinking process of children as well as adults."
The physical design and floor plan of the facility promote high-quality care with features that support relationship building, supervision, and teamwork. At just over 15,600 square feet, the building is roomy yet home-like, with cozy spaces and alcoves ideal for teachers working with small groups of children.
The classroom environment is integral in supporting our curriculum goals and delivery. Our classrooms are designed to be welcoming places that help create a sense of trust. We believe that paying attention to the aesthetics and organization of each classroom environment and space in the school helps to create an amicable space for children, teachers and families. An amicable space is also created by the hum of the room- what children and teachers listen to as well as how they converse and communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. We ask that you help to support this space by offering traces of the language of your home. If in working with your child’s classroom or Center administration you would find it helpful to have written materials in the language of your home, we will do our best to honor this request.
In thinking further about creating an amicable space for children and families, we also work to maximize home-like features, natural light, and spaces for both large and small group gatherings. The selection, organization and maintenance of our materials are designed to invite children into learning explorations that are meaningful to them.
With careful attention to aesthetics, our Studio spaces are designed to inspire children to imagine new possibilities, construct and test theories, and wonder about life with all their senses. These shared spaces welcome all age groups in our center to work at their developmental level in small peer groups or mixed age groupings. There are three primary Studio spaces – The Movement and Sound Studio, The Materials Studio, and the Re-use Materials Center. Each of these spaces offers children exposure to a rich variety of high quality, open-ended, and complex materials to awaken their senses and reveal beauty through each new idea. These materials are displayed in purposeful invitations that ask children to enter into a conversation of “playful inquiry” on their own time line.
The play yard, over three-quarters of an acre in size, takes advantage of the natural wooded setting of the Mentor Graphics campus and engages children at a very early age to be stewards of the environment. The design of the outdoors offers a balance of developed and natural space that encourages children’s inherent wonder and investigation of the world around them. Three covered barns allow children opportunities to play outdoors all year long, even in Oregon’s wet climate.