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As a lifelong early childhood educator, I have always felt that children learn best through experience. I was constantly impressed with how young children grew socially, cognitively and emotionally through exploration and group interaction. In the mid 1990s, I was introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and my beliefs about children's development and understanding were validated by this highly acclaimed program of hands-on learning.

After assisting with the introduction and growth of a Reggio Emilia program at Camp Pendleton for several years, I observed the power of the Reggio approach. When I left Camp Pendleton my husband and I had a vision to create a truly unique Reggio learning environment in this community. Our grass roots efforts began by designing a school from the ground up, which embodied the Reggio philosophy. I continued to broaden my knowledge of Reggio Emilia by traveling to Italy in order to experience this wonderful learning philosophy first hand.

With family and close friends we purchased the property, designed, and built the facility that is now "Aspirations School of Learning." When we opened in April of 2008, we nervously recited the saying, "If you build it, they will come." And you did. The community has warmly embraced the Reggio triad of, 'child, parent and teacher' - working as a team, providing students the opportunity to explore, discover and grow.

Today, with the dedication of a wonderfully talented staff, we are creating a unique learning environment for every child, by stimulating a love of learning. We embrace the Reggio approach fully and strive to mold the program into a warm, safe, secure, environment, where children work together to reach their full learning potential.

How fortunate we are to have fulfilled a dream, established a national reputation as a model Reggio school and joined with you, our school community to help our children "Aspire to Greatness."

As Lois Malaguzzi said, "Everything is possible in the mind of the child."

Theresa Heim
Executive Director
Aspirations School of Learning



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The Genesis of Aspirations BiosFaculty