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Empowering Comminities

Empowering Kids to Shape Their World A New Era in Early Childhood Education at YIA Winter Garden

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The world of early childhood education is evolving, and the Young Innovators Academy (YIA)is at the forefront of this transformation. With the kick-off of their groundbreaking pilot program, “Empowering Communities to Shape Their World,” YIA is setting a new standard for how our youngest learners engage with the world around them.

A New Approach to Learning

On June 14, the Empowering Communities to Shape Their World program was launched at Young Innovators Academy campuses in Oviedo, Winter Garden, and selected Early Learning Coalition Centers in Orange County. This initiative, sponsored by The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County (ELCOC) and led by educators from the Orlando-based Young Innovators Academy and EPIC Innovation Collective, aims to revolutionize early childhood education through a unique approach known as maker-centered learning.

What is Maker-Centered Learning?

Maker-centered learning is an educational approach that places students, parents, and teachers at the center of the learning process. Rather than following a traditional curriculum, this method encourages creativity, exploration, and hands-on experiences. It’s about putting the “makers”—in this case, your children—in control of their own learning journeys.

Why This Matters to Parents

For parents, the promise of maker-centered learning is particularly exciting. It means that your children will not only be learning important academic skills but also developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration abilities. These are the skills that will prepare them for a future where adaptability and innovation are key.
The launch event was a grand affair, bringing together educators, parents, and community partners. Attendees had the opportunity to tour the Winter Garden campus and witness the maker-centered model in action.
One of the highlights was meeting the educators leading this innovative program, including Dr. Edward Clapp and Dr. Scott Fritz, CEO of ELCOC. Dr. Clapp is a renowned expert in maker-centered learning, and his involvement in the program adds an extra layer of credibility and expertise. The program is also supported by the Young Innovators Foundation, founded by Marnie Forestieri. The foundation aims to bring innovative educational experiences to the Orlando community, and this pilot program is a significant step in that direction.

Key Features of the Program

Hands-On Learning Experiences

At the heart of the Empowering Communities to Shape Their World program is the emphasis on hands-on learning. Children engage in activities that require them to build, create, and explore. This not only makes learning fun but also helps to reinforce the concepts they are learning.
Parents are not just spectators in this program; they are active participants. The program encourages parents to be involved in their child’s learning process, fostering a stronger connection between home and school. The program also emphasizes the importance of community involvement. By bringing together educators, parents, and community partners, the initiative creates a supportive network that benefits everyone involved.

Benefits of Maker-Centered Learning

Encourages Creativity

One of the major benefits of maker-centered learning is that it encourages creativity. Children are given the freedom to explore their ideas and bring them to life. This not only makes learning more engaging but also helps to develop a lifelong love of learning.

Develops Critical Thinking Skills

Through hands-on activities, children learn to think critically and solve problems. They are encouraged to ask questions, experiment, and find solutions. These are essential skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Fosters Collaboration

Maker-centered learning also promotes collaboration. Children work together on projects, learning to communicate effectively and share ideas. This helps to develop teamwork skills and builds a sense of community.

What Parents Are Saying

Parents who attended the launch event shared their excitement about the new program. Many expressed their appreciation for the innovative approach and the emphasis on hands-on learning. They are eager to see how their children will benefit from this unique educational experience.

Real-Life Examples

One parent mentioned how their child, who typically struggles with traditional learning methods, was engaged and enthusiastic about the maker-centered activities. Another parent appreciated the opportunity to be more involved in their child’s education, seeing it as a way to strengthen their relationship and support their child’s learning.

How to Get Involved

Enroll Your Child

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in the Empowering Communities to Shape Their World program, contact the Young Innovators Academy for more information. Spaces are limited, so don’t wait too long to secure your spot.

Join the Community

Even if your child is not enrolled in the program, there are still ways to get involved. The Young Innovators Academy offers various events and workshops for parents and community members. It’s a great way to learn more about maker-centered learning and connect with other parents who share your passion for innovative education.

Looking to the Future

The Empowering Communities to Shape Their World program is just the beginning. The Young Innovators Academy and its partners are committed to continuing to explore new ways of learning that put students, parents, and teachers at the center of the educational experience.
The success of the pilot program will pave the way for future initiatives. The goal is to expand the program to more schools and communities, ensuring that more children have the opportunity to benefit from maker-centered learning.
The Young Innovators Academy and its partners are dedicated to providing ongoing support to parents and educators. Through workshops, resources, and community events, they aim to create a network of support that helps everyone succeed.
The Young Innovators Academy is leading the way in early childhood education with its innovative Empowering Communities to Shape Their World program. By focusing on maker-centered learning, the program puts children, parents, and teachers at the center of the educational experience, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.
For parents, this program offers an exciting opportunity to be more involved in their child’s education and see firsthand the benefits of a hands-on, creative approach to learning.
If you’re interested in learning more about the program or getting involved, contact the Young Innovators Academy today. Together, we can shape the future of education and empower our children to become confident, innovative thinkers.

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