In 1991 I began my career in early childhood as the studio teacher at The Model Early Learning Center (MELC) at the Capital Children’s Museum in Washington DC. MELC was a prominent reference point for hundreds of educators during the years of its existence, 1989-1997, and continues to be viewed as an important part of the history of the Reggio Approach in the United States. At MELC I had the incredible opportunity to work closely with Amelia Gambetti, an educator from Reggio Emilia (and currently Liaison for Consultancy in Schools at Reggio Children), who worked on-site from 1993 to 1997.
As the first studio teacher in the United States, I developed my understanding of this role through the close mentoring of Amelia and firsthand experience working with the children and families of the Northeast DC neighborhood where the school was located. Now, I carry with me the life-changing experience of MELC as I work with other schools in dialogue with Reggio. I work with local schools (in D.C.) as well as lecturing and consulting nationally with prominent early childhood programs inspired by the Reggio Approach.