ABOUT

Untitled No. 1 has as its mission to serve our community by offering families and children a joyous and engaging preschool experience, replete with opportunities to learn from nature and from one another. Because children learn best in diverse settings, Untitled No. 1 admits families evenly spread across income levels and provides scholarships to achieve this balance.

 
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NATURE-BASED

We see ourselves reflected in nature. We constantly take out of nature’s laboratory new and wonderful things. We nurture great respect for nature and learn how it acts upon us and how we act upon it. Every part of the universe is connected with every other part, and these inter-relationships call for us to care. 

Children at Untitled No. 1 learn indoors and out. Natural elements, functions, and systems inspire the curriculum, as children naturally wonder, “How does that happen?” “Why does it do that?” Their natural curiosities exist before children can even articulate such questions, and allowing time to be in nature and to interact with nature stimulates their intelligence. The sciences, maths, arts, languages, technologies, every field of endeavor seems to have roots in the natural world. For children to develop their whole beings they benefit from direct contact with the natural world.

 
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HUMAN CONNECTION

At Untitled No. 1 tender relationships develop between people - children, teachers, family members, neighbors – and utmost care and consideration for others is our focus. As children develop their sense of self, including ‘agency’ - how one gets things done, and how to care for themselves, we nudge them to empathize with others. We are all emotional beings and with effort we can evolve our thinking from me to we. Children at Untitled No. 1 are respected and respect others. Everyone learns from everyone.  Everyone is precious and each offers their multiple gifts to the world.

 
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SOCIAL JUSTICE

Connections to nature and human connections provide opportunities to consider justice. Differences are recognized, while our basic humanity: the needs and wants we share in common far outweigh our differences. Untitled No. 1 as a community actively engages with our wider community and children are encouraged to enquire about the realities they encounter. Our community needs us and we play a part in shaping it. We aim to establish in our home of Santa Monica characteristics of a child-friendly city. We play at the park, we walk and ride the Expo, we shop at the Farmers Market and grocery store, all to experience life in our city. These experiences inform our envisioning of the better Santa Monica we can be. Children will develop their voices for change in a “hundred or more languages” as the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach (Loris Malaguzzi) says.

 
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JOY

Loris Malaguzzi also said, “The pleasure of learning, of knowing, and of understanding is one of the most important and basic feelings that every child expects from the experiences he confronts alone, with other children, or with adults. It is a crucial feeling which must be reinforced so that the pleasure survives even when reality may prove that learning, knowing, and understanding involve difficulty and effort. It is in this very capacity for survival that pleasure is transformed into pure joy.”

At Untitled No. 1 the sense of joy is palpable. Children and teachers are engaged in learning and teaching one another, side-by-side on parallel paths of inquiry. Our teachers want to know the children so well that they can plan for their fascination with learning. Nothing without joy!

 
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AFFILIATIONS

 
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NORTH AMERICAN REGGIO EMILIA ALLIANCE

Untitled No. 1 is a member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance and founder Laila Taslimi has participated in conferences, workshops, and intensive training experiences in the U.S., Canada, and in Reggio Emilia in Italy.

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EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PROJECT

Untitled No. 1 is part of the Edible Schoolyard Project and from our kitchen workshop serves breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack, sustainably sourced. Click here for a sample week autumn menu. 

We agree with Alice Waters that “Lunch is an academic subject.” This few minute video explains: https://edibleschoolyard.org/files/school-lunch-academic-subject-2017


 

OUR NAME

Our name, Untitled No. 1, is borrowed from the art world when the artist does not name the work. The artwork is unnamed unintentionally or by choice when it’s implicitly preferred the work speak for itself. Our preschool is not the work of one person, rather our children, families, and community create and add meanings to it across time, therefore we intentionally chose not to name the preschool. 

Art + Technology can intersect, and there is a co-incidental calling up of the word Untitled when one opens a window to the world-wide web. Opening a window is a traditional metaphor for learning. Within and without the digital world, searching and researching are integrative processes that occur at our preschool.

 

 

LAILA TASLIMI

FOUNDER, TEACHER

Laila wants to serve her community by applying her knowledge and skills to meet the needs of children, families, and society. A believer in the potential of all people to contribute to an ever-advancing civilization, Laila is most interested to learn with others to engage energies and intellects. A favorite aphorism is, Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve (Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.). View Resumé

 

TEACHING TEAM

Macrina, Sam, and Amalia are our founding teachers, seen here in front of our almost completed site.

Macrina's Associate of Arts degree is in Education and she has two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Liberal Studies and one in Spanish, with an emphasis in Spanish linguistics. During her University years Macrina distinguished herself with her leadership and motivation to bring about greater culture equity, and she continues diligently in such efforts through serving in her own community of Santa Monica. She has two daughters, raised here in Santa Monica. She has always enjoyed being with children and aspires to play a part in all aspects of their development.

Sam obtained his Early Childhood degrees (AA at Santa Monica College, BA at Pacific Oaks College) and after four years at the Growing Place supporting children aged 12 weeks to 5 years, he completed a Master of Education and Human Development with a teaching residency at the renowned Boulder Journey School, a first U.S. site to study and introduce the Reggio Emilia approach. He participated in a 2018 Study Group in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Sam plays with the power of music in his practice to guide the learning process to be meaningful and joyful.

Amalia started her university studies in psychology and education and completed a professional certificate program in child development before completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with an emphasis in contemporary aesthetics and ethics. In her home town of Reggio Emilia, Amalia's career as an educator began in 2009 as a curriculum researcher to educational services of the municipality. She spent a year collaborating with a team of teaching experts focused on strategies for the construction of inclusive learning contexts to integrate children with special rights (autism). She collaborated as educator/atelierista at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center (2016-2018) and developed and implemented "ateliers" with children ages 0-6. During that time she also trained families, university students, as well as national and international study groups on the Reggio Emilia Approach. She spent three summers as educator/atelierista of outdoor learning ("Immersive Ateliers") for ages 3-10 at a biodynamic farm to develop ecological thinking and healthy eating habits. Amalia has a keen interest in digital storytelling, an emergent tool in educational research that follows an holistic and interdisciplinary approach for skills development in early childhood education. Amalia has also explored different working avenues collaborating with Architects, Designers, Filmmakers and Artists to fulfill her passion for the Visual Arts and to learn how expressive languages can be ‘learning activators’.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Credits: Photography and Video by Abdi Taslimi. Web Design by Gin Chen.