Attending the NAREA Winter Conference in New York City was such a gift! So many aspects of my life converged in one place and time. Many people made an enormous effort to make this conference a success in this very busy city hub. And, 700 people traveled a long way to be a part of it. Seeing so many long time friends and colleagues in the big city which is slowly showing signs of spring, and staying with a dear friend, made this March one that I will long remember. It was such a celebration to see Vea Vecchi, Marina Mori, and Amelia Gambetti, lifelong friends and mentors, beginning in 1991-92, the year that we lived in Reggio Emilia and I worked and studied at the Diana School and La Villetta School. It was wonderful also see and hear Claudia Giudici and Chiara Spaggiari. I am holding onto the words and images offered by these Italian women in the beautiful and powerful stories of learning that they shared with us as I return to Boston on the train. I will write reflections soon in a future blog post.
The NAREA Winter Conference coincided with the miraculous publishing of the second edition of In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia. I was privileged to stand next to co-editor and another friend and mentor, Lella Gandini, and Vea, to sign books, thanks to NAREA and to Karen Hewitt of Learning Materials Workshop. We missed our other tireless authors and co-editors, Lynn Hill, who truly saved us all so many times, knitting together countless details and becoming our go to editor for any kind of problem, and Charles Schwall, the organizer of all the photographs and the keeper of quality.
Congratulations and a toast to...my three most esteemed co-editors and to all the contributor colleagues who wrote beautifully in strong voices about their important work: Pauline Baker, Barbara Burrington, Susan Harris MacKay, Carlina Rinaldi, Lori Geismar Ryan, and Vea Vecchi, and to Steve Seidel who wrote the wonderful new foreword and to Pam Bliss who designed the bright new cover. And, last but not least, at Teachers College Press, thank you to Susan Liddicoat our editor, and Karl Nyberg our production editor. Tanti Auguri a tutti!
And finally, and most importantly, thank you and congratulations to the members of the board, staff and volunteers of NAREA for all of the hard work that you do to manage and lead such a worthwhile and important organization and to host conferences that inspire us all.