Welcome Back!

Enews pic Prek Picture

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We certainly have some wonderful and imaginative play happening at Mariposa! Welcome to the 2014-2015 Mariposa school year! We thank all of you who have been following us on our journey through the years and welcome new members to our Mariposa Community!

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Becoming a Naturalist Parent


Thanks to a grant from the Providence Children’s Shelter, Mariposa, along with the Roger Williams Park Zoo, created Becoming a Naturalist Parent, a three-part series of workshops and field experiences at the zoo with Chris Hitchener, the Children’s Zoo Program Manager. These workshops guided families through opportunities to foster their child’s development and learning in and with nature. Families participated in seasonal workshops that explored the long-lasting benefits of unstructured natural exploration, provided wildlife searching techniques, and offered tips for accessing local resources.

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Teacher-Child Interaction: Observation Study

In Spring 2014, Mika Zacks—a junior at Brown University majoring in Africana Studies and Education—spent two months visiting the Mariposa Pre-K classroom at the Wanskuck Boys and Girls Club in Providence, conducting field research for a qualitative study on teacher-child interaction in the early childhood classroom. Mika worked previously as a prekindergarten teacher assistant in Israel (her country of origin). Through teacher interviews and classroom observations, some core values and practices which guide teacher-child relationships at Mariposa emerged. Notes on Mika’s observations are included here.

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David Sobel visits Mariposa

In October, David Sobel, renowned author, veteran educator and play-based education advocate visited our classroom to learn more about the work that Mariposa is doing with eco-literacy and our nature-based curriculum. He has asked Mariposa to participate in and collaborate on several exciting educational and professional development events in conjunction with Antioch University.

Over the course of the next several years, Mariposa will be a host site for teaching fellows that are participating in a Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Certificate Program at Antioch. We will collaborate and facilitate training for an urban-sited, nature-based curriculum conference, and we will participate in leadership events to shape and design future conferences, trainings and course offerings, and events in Providence, New Haven, and Boston.

We are thrilled to be included in this process with David Sobel and Antioch University and to be sharing the amazing work and research being done each and every day at Mariposa. Thank you for being a part of this adventure as Mariposa spreads its wings to provide quality early childhood education and family services to more children and families in Rhode Island.