Crescent Park was founded by Stephanie Hill, Executive Director and Pedagogical Leader in July of 2000. With the support of a few families living in the Crescent Park neighborhood of Palo Alto, California, the school was designed to meet the needs of families in Palo Alto and the surrounding Bay Area communities who were committed to growing an innovative, high quality, early childhood program.
Today, Crescent Park is poised to be a model of understanding for what innovative education might look like in the years ahead. Well known for it’s magical environments and neighborhood feel, children of diverse backgrounds ages 18 months to 6 years are valued for their strong identity as enterprising citizens with the knowledge, confidence and a sense of responsibility influenced by their words and actions over the course of each day.
Within the construct of a family-like mixed age setting, the children are provided the autonomy to make their own decisions about how to spend their day with the support of educators who are responsive, thoughtful and reflective. In this framework, we find that older children display leadership skills showing respect and compassion for younger ones, while younger children adore and emulate their mentors.
In a learning environment that provides for long periods of uninterrupted play within a culture of deep reflective practice, Crescent Park emerges as a strong advocate for innovative education in the early childhood community serving children, families and educators alike.
“It is our obligation to think about the future. The actions that we do not take today are actions not taken for the children who will be growing tomorrow”.
- Loris Malaguzzi