Private Education Awards 2022

Page 12 LUX 2022 Private Education Awards Tucked away in Jupiter, Florida, is a leading early learning academy that strives to empower children through the exploration of ideas and critical thinking. The Tree Top Academy serves children between the ages of two and kindergarten – a key stage in a child’s development – and possesses a curriculum designed to encourage them to ask questions and express their natural curiosity. Indeed, The Tree Top Academy believes that children are born with an infinite amount of creativity, intelligence, and, perhaps most importantly, capability. It is this perspective that inspires the centre’s work to encourage learning through a plethora of means, including the encouragement of children’s interests. “We honor and empower children by cultivating social, emotional and academic growth through inspiring experiences that challenge and extend thinking and wondering,” reads The Tree Top Academy’s mission statement, which it is wholeheartedly committed to. In essence, this statement confirms that the academy’s mission hinges on its approach to learning. It is with this in mind that The Tree Top Academy established its own, unique curriculum based upon four complementary ideas of childhood education. The Reggio Emilia Philosophy, Project Approach, Harvard University’s “Making Thinking Visible”, and The Conscious Discipline Program are all critically acclaimed childhood education techniques that play fundamental roles in The Tree Top Academy’s outlook on learning. For example, The Reggio Children deserve to explore their ideas freely and without repercussions. This is an attitude embedded in The Tree Top Academy’s unique approach to learning, which has been inspired by a quartet of internationally esteemed educational philosophies, such as The Reggio Emilia Philosophy. As a result, student positions at the centre are in high demand – and The Tree Top Academy’s waitlist is only expanding. Apr22593 Tree Top Academy Most Empowering Early Learning Academy - Florida Emilia Philosophy, which has elements that can be traced back to the 19th century, views each child as an individual bursting with potential, curiosity, and creativity. Within this philosophy, the child forges their own theories and path to acquiring knowledge, whilst the teacher operates as the guide and role model. ‘Children become even more curious, interested, and confident as they contemplate the meaning of what they have achieved,’ is a quote attributed to Loris Malaguzzi, who founded The Reggio Emilia Philosophy after the devastation of World War Two. It is abundantly clear that The Tree Top Academy embodies this quote. Throughout the academy, the impact of this method can be seen – children take control of their own paths, acting as the protagonists in their own stories. They are capable, competent and creative, curious and powerful. The Tree Top Academy refuses to stamp out their students’ dreams. It possesses an unwavering respect for the child’s preferred methods of learning and how such techniques may evolve over time. Simply, The Tree Top Academy views each child as an individual – and it treats them as such. Furthermore, in a quotation displayed on the company’s website, the founder and Executive Director, Jeff Turner, explains, ‘I wanted children to have the freedom to learn through exploration, like I did as a child.’ Turner was introduced to The Reggio Emilia Philosophy after the birth of his second child in 2009, which bolstered his interest in Early Childhood Education. After conducting immense amounts of research, he established the centre in 2011, in the hopes that it would create a place that nurtures children’s individuality and passion for learning. This deep interest in education is something found within each member of the team, who devote themselves daily to the betterment of the academy. ‘We have tried to develop a culture where thinking and sharing of ideas is valued. We have tried to develop a culture where teachers are respected as experts in the field of early childhood education. We have tried to develop a culture where teachers and teaching in early education is highly valued. I think we are accomplishing these goals,’ Turner comments. Taking all of these elements into consideration, it is unsurprising that The Tree Top Academy boasts a vast waitlist, filled with the names of hopeful, prospective students. Consequently, this enormous demand is directing the academy’s plans for 2022, as it is in the process of discovering ways in which it can accommodate more students. Contact: Jeff Turner Company: Tree Top Academy Web Address: