My mother, Betty Peck, and I are delighted to welcome you to the Kindergarten Forum. As part of my mother's doctoral studies, she developed a program to support kindergarten teachers sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education in 1989. Each Monday after school twelve teachers came to our home for a weekly burst of inspiration and practical advice on pedagogical themes and activities through the seasons.
After several years these gatherings became the quarterly Kindergarten Forum. Wide ranges of topics concerning the young child and an esteemed list of presenters have contributed to the Forum's continued success. The Forums are held at our home in Saratoga and sometimes in other local kindergartens or preschools with exemplary indoor environments or school gardens.
The participants- teachers, parents, and administrators- come from all over the Bay Area and drive long distances from other parts of California. When remarkable people and ideas meet together, there is a feeling of renewal and inspiration.
Friday, March 10, 2017: Anji Play with Julie Nicholson.
Saturday, June 17, 2017: Puppetry with Jennifer Aguirre Click here for PDF program.
Listings for recent Forums:
- Compassion with Robert Cusick
- The First Seven Years: Enlivening Perspectives on Human Development. With Lee Sturgeon-Day.
- The Power of Observation: Mindful Assessment of the Young Child, Part Two. With Jeff Lough.
- What Should You Know about the Developing Brain; with Ken Wesson
- Living Life in Full Bloom: Cultivating Creativity and Relationships for Teachers and Parents; with Elizabeth Murray
- Opening the Door to Nature, part five; with Julie Carville and Steve Karlin
- The Power of Presence: The Art of Mentoring; with Anne Veh and Jerry Falek
- Opening the Door to Nature, Part Three with Mother Nature's Toyshop with Sharon Lovejoy and School Yards Re-imagined: An Inspiring Look at Innovative School Grounds Around the World with Sharon Danks
- Making Peace: Becoming a Skillful Peacemaker in the Classroom and at Home with Doris Rainville
- Opening the Door to Nature, Part Four: Prescriptions for Nature with Dr. Nooshin Razani and Dr. Avril Swan
- The Digital Dilemma: What Are Parents and teachers to Do with This Evolutionary Surge of Wired Entertainment and Learning with Nancy Mellon
- Reclaiming Play, Part Two: Two Perspectives with Stephen Spitalny and Julie Nicholson
- Kindergarten Magic with Betty Peck
The Forums take place at our home in Saratoga where, Betty and Willys Peck (my parents) created a haven for the imagination. The backyard amphitheater has hosted countless Shakespearean plays and other performances. A narrow gauge train still runs on old drying yard tracks, a print museum houses a working press and linotype, and an oaken throne for the May Queen overlooks the dancing green. The great hall, with spacious elegance, holds the indoor portion of the gathering. The prototype for my own commitment to children and nature is my mother, Betty Peck, a truly inspired and celebrated early childhood educator, who has initiated many educational programs including Los Gatos Saratoga Observation Nursery School, and the former Saratoga Community Garden, an environmental education center, where I worked with UCSC master gardener, Alan Chadwick, and learned about biodynamic gardening.