Spotlight Interview with Rialda Pellumbi owner of Little Elephant Learning Center in Melrose, Massachusetts
Below is our latest Spotlight Interview with Rialda Pellumbi owner of Little Elephant Learning Center in Melrose, Massachusetts
Before reading the interview, you can learn more about her program on their website here: http://littleelephantlearningcenter.com
You can like them on Facebook here: https://m.facebook.com/LittleElephantLearningCenter
And follow them on Instagram here: https://instagram.com/littleelephantcenter?igshid=y79ox8zeug1u
Question: 1. What experiences have you had working in early childhood education and care?
My name is Rialda Pellumbi and I am originally from a very small and beautiful country in the Southeastern of Europe called Albania, where I developed a deep appreciation for the sea, sun, and Mediterranean food. I obtained my master’s degree in geography and at the age of 23. Afterwards I moved to America.
I began my journey as a childcare provider at a small day care in Malden. That was when I discovered how much I truly enjoyed working with children. Due to my passion for the kids I decided to further my education by obtaining an associate degree from Bunker Hill community college for early childhood Education.
Afterwards, I was offered to work for a Reggio Emilia inspired children center called Peabody Terrace which was also a Harvard affiliated childcare center. The experience there transformed how I perceived children and the importance of their development in their early childhood years, I always will be thankful for the opportunity that I have to work for one of the most amazing child center, the people I meet there and the whole experience that transform me.
THANK YOU, PEABODY TARRACE!
I also learned about the importance of community and the huge impact a classroom environment has on a Childs life, as well as their learning abilities.
Questions 2: What made you want to open a new program?
After almost 5 years of teaching, I had left my job for the most important and valuable job I would have to date: being a full-time mom. During that time, I spend a lot of time roaming the Melrose area and became more acquainted with the community. My daughter Aya and I would visit the parks a lot, and I would walk through them thinking of how I wanted to start my own Daycare one day. I dreamt of creating a daycare that would be small and intimate, but also would cater to the needs of those in the community.
My desire is that our learning center will make children feel right at home, in all forms and ways. I hope this will be a happy place for children, for parents, and the community all around.
I am looking forward to showing the kids how beautiful diversity really is, and I want them to learn how to be kind with others as well as appreciate the true meaning of life.
I hope my learning center Little Elephant will be a place where children can learn, grow, and develop at their own pace and be supported every step of the way."
Questions 3: What do you think makes your program unique?
I designed my child center to meet the needs of the wholly child This program is based on the knowledge that young children are active learners involved in a process that uses all their senses as they work and play with people and materials. We support the interest of each child, helping them to grow in their socio-emotional and cognitive skill development through hands-on experimentation with material and concepts. We believe that your child will discover and learn by making the decision needed to work through on activity, rather than being told exactly how to accomplish a task. We build our classroom curriculum around ideas of interest to the children. Each day there are opportunity for children to explore materials and create meaningful experiences.
Question 4: Where there any college courses, mentors, or professional development experiences that stood out as being helpful in your work?
As I mention to the other questions about my education, I have a master in geography and an associate in early childhood education, I also obtained a lot of training related to children development and psychology of early childhood years. Of course, a thank you note goes to every collage I worked with every family I meet and every child that I directly care, all this together shaped me to the teacher I am today I am grateful I discovered my passion through you.
Question 5: If you could talk to politicians and policy makers about early childhood education and care, what would you tell them?
I will point out that encouraging play base center, getting rid of the traditional curriculum that at some point in my opinion force kids to learn things they are not interested in and play with things different from they interest. I strongly believe that during the early childhood years we as caregiver can offer to children the opportunity to learn through play and develop what their interest is and encourage them to be and stay curios about the environment around them