Past Projects

Inspired Practices in Early Education is envisioned as a producer of educational projects — undertakings that involve the sustained investigation of and intentional action towards the many possibilities for contemporary education. Early projects of Inspired Practices, including the Georgia Reggio Project and The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit Project, introduced the region to the educational philosophies and experiences of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A primary mission of Inspired Practices is to provide ongoing resources and forums for exchange in order to support early childhood schools in becoming ever better. Within our approach is a willingness to view experimentation as a valuable tool for professional development. As projects are launched, they are intended to be developed until such time that we determine the work has evolved to a new level, rendering past projects to their conclusion and new projects to their beginning.

The Georgia Reggio Project was a 3-year series of seminars and institutes educating professionals about the experiences of the infant/toddler programs and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, as well as the experiences of early childhood programs in the United States which had been transformed by their study and research of the Reggio approach. The project took place between 1998 and 2000, and was substantially responsible for building awareness among educators in Georgia of the world-renown educational project of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Pre-conference seminars at The Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC) and Clayton State College framed the series.  During the Georgia Reggio Project, the genesis of study delegations and the current School Development Project emerged.

The Exhibit Project brought The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit, created by the children, educators, and parents of Reggio Emilia to Atlanta for two months. The exhbit is a testimony to what children are, or better what they can be, when childhood and its inherent rights are promoted and defended. The language of the exhibit is entrusted to words, drawings, paintings, sculpture, and images of children. It is widely felt that The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit is an essential support for a better-defined strategy of professional development for early educators in the United States and throughout the world.

By 2000, the exhibit had traveled to more than 30 U.S. cities since its first arrival in 1987. A new, updated edition of the exhibit debuted in Atlanta, generating a great deal of excitement among early childhood educators. During the week of the annual National Association on the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference in November, Atlanta was host to nearly 30,000 early childhood educators from around the world, including several educators from Reggio Emilia. Many of these educators visited The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit at the SunTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta. In total, 12,000 educators encountered the exhibit during its two months in Atlanta. For many, the exhibit served as a powerful, rich introduction to the Reggio Emilia approach. Additionally, the course of organizing and arranging for the hosting built important local relationships and strengthened our connections with educators of Reggio Emilia.

The exhibit was brought to Atlanta through the commitment and dedication of 20 local early childhood professionals, as well as the generous donation of space and auxiliary support given by SunTrust Plaza Associates. In addition, financial support for the project was given by more than 85 individuals and organizations, including the James M. Cox and Arthur M. Blank Family Foundations, as well as corporate support from Coca-Cola.

More important, local educators and families gained access to the ideas and experiences of the municipal system of infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. For some, studying the exhibit opened new doors of professional interest in their own work.  “How could we learn more?” became a guiding question that continues to frame the current work and projects of Inspired Practices. The impetus for the formation of Inspired Practices and a significant accomplishment of our first year as an incorporated,  not-for-profit organization was the hosting of The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit.