Welcoming Children to Mei Bimbi
While everyone at home in Canada is groaning at the return of winter weather, I am basking in the heat and humidity in Guangzhou, China. It’s April, and I am here supporting the Faculty of Mei Bimbi, Guangzhou’s first Reggio-inspired early childhood development centre.I first joined the Mei Bimbi team in January during the construction of the Centre. I was able to consult on the design and outfitting of the classrooms, sharing experiences from Richland’s inspiring spaces that embody the Philosophy of Reggio Emilia. It was pure delight to return this trip, walk through the classes, and see those ideas come to life.Of all the dreams becoming reality at Mei Bimbi, the most astounding has been welcoming children to the Centre, and observing the relationships forming with the Faculty – pure joy! I have watched children take great pleasure in discovering the materials in the classroom, engaging with the provocations, making connections, and building relationships. Such a resounding affirmation of the Reggio philosophy and the image of the child.I will admit to having made little progress with my Mandarin. Yet, for the days I have spent in the classrooms of Mei Bimbi, I have been able to understand the children and witness their exchanges with the teachers with complete comprehension. Behold the 100 Languages of Children – communicating with their eyes, their hands, their laughter, and their actions. To the passing observer, we may not be speaking the same language, but if you are willing to look closely, you can see that, in fact, we are.The Faculty of Mei Bimbi express their dedication to the children every day. They experiment with intriguing provocations, build on their observations, and engage with them warmly – guiding them. So grateful to have a window into this world and watch these relationships form.I will soon be returning home, and am already excited about the changes that I will see on my next visit to Guangzhou. Congratulations to our colleagues at Mei Bimbi – your passion shines in all that you do for, and with, your students!