School of Thought

Early education with an eye toward mindfulness

In a sunny classroom at the Children’s Garden Field Office (2035 NW Front Ave, Suite 100, 971-277-5535, thechildrensgarden.com), 3- and 4-year-olds decorate a “calming jar.” Water and glitter slosh around inside, like a snow globe. When kids are dealing with tough emotions, they can watch the sparkles settle to the bottom, like the swirl of their own feelings.

“Having a school at the Field Office location is an incredible opportunity to serve a bunch of families”

The Field Office—an early learning community named for the building it’s in—opened in May and embraces an evidence-based mindfulness approach. Serving infants through kindergarteners, the curriculum centers on the belief that children introduced to mindfulness are more successful and apt to have healthy relationships.

Having started the Children’s Garden in 1988, Bob Shaw and Ginger Duran-Shaw sold it to Endeavor Schools, a national company, in 2016. Their daughter, Tessa Stephenson, now serves as Endeavor’s regional director of operations—she created the Field Office from the ground up.

“Having a school at the Field Office location is an incredible opportunity to serve a bunch of families, and our neighbors have been so welcoming and supportive,” says Stephenson. “Plus, we got to design the school of our dreams, from the tile and paint to the 2,500-square-foot outdoor urban playscape, built with all-natural materials.”  –Ellee Thalheimer | Photo courtesy The Children’s Garden

 

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