in the young years
Many folks underestimate the determination and sense of justice young children are innately born with. From a young age, children have a sense of what is right and what feels wrong. At Shirlee Green Preschool, we listen to that undercurrent of justice that flows through our students and cultivate it through community-centered projects. Using principles of place-based education, at the beginning of the year, every class chooses a project that will impact their community. This becomes the heart of the learning and work they do throughout the year. Within that project, there is a wealth of opportunities for students to display leadership and courage, tikkun olam and hessed.
Leadership at SGP is taught as our young students are given the freedom and responsibility to make decisions. They direct their class projects each step of the way, while teachers craft many opportunities for big decisions and small decisions that will have a direct impact on the decision-maker and others. Through discussion and collaboration, students are challenged to weigh their choices and forge the direction they wish to take. At times these decisions are not the ones we as adults would make, but with authentic consequences of their decisions, each child learns that their actions have an impact. Through real decision-making, the young children of SGP gain the understanding that what they do matters.