Possible Schools tells the compelling story of the Model Early Learning Center (MELC) in Washington, D.C. - the only school in a U.S. urban area to successfully implement the principles of the Municipal Preschools of Reggio Emilia. The author describes the origin of this school, which served impoverished urban families, and traces its evolution from a chaotic inception to its ability to apply Reggio practices. Both inspirational and straightforward in its details, this book describes: a new vision for early education, showing how children and families in poverty will thrive when their abilities are promoted and intellect respected; the structure of the program, providing guidance to anyone wanting to adapt the Reggio Approach in their school; children's incredible accomplishments, including many photos; teachers' development, both personally and professionally, as they learned to use an approach that involves a new role for teachers; the role of Reggio educator Amelia Gambetti, who spent a year at the MELC; parent involvement in many new and expanded roles; and, the complex circumstances that resulted in the eventual closing of the school.
Ann Lewin-Benham founded and directed the Model Early Learning Center and ran the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, DC for twenty years. Prior to starting the museum, she initiated, taught in, or ran other schools and educational programs.