Arlington Family Connection

 connecting children under six and those who care for them

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  • AFC Membership Meeting & Iris Pointe Guest Speaker

AFC Membership Meeting & Iris Pointe Guest Speaker

  • 10 May 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Registration is closed

This event is Free! Join us for our quarterly member meetings. Not a member yet? Come learn more about AFC and sign up at the meeting. Our mission is to bring together all families in Arlington, MA with young children 0-6. To try to reach a wider audience in case you are a solo caregiver or cannot attend in person, this meeting will also be available to attend via zoom, and you must register to get the link.

Below is a brief agenda for the meeting. We so look forward to meeting each of you and hope you can join us.
  • Welcome and Introductions
  • What is AFC (background and historic activity)
  • The future of AFC (upcoming events and volunteer opportunities)
  • Special guest speaker. Iris Pointe is the Director of the Henry Frost Children's Program and will be speaking about the Complementary Curriculum Approach and how it can be implemented at home

    The Power of Intention: Reconsidering Everyday Early Childhood Practices 

    How can children have freedom for play and inquiry, without sacrificing structured, scaffolded experiences? How can children have guided instruction while still experiencing open​-ended exploration opportunities?

    The Complementary Curriculum Approach is rooted in the theories of John Dewey, the Montessori method, and socially constructed learning experiences influenced by Lev Vygotsky’s work. It is also inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, and what is often known as emergent curriculum. Taken together, these theories offer a balance of exploration, scaffolding, and differentiated instruction. 

    The field of early education has been polarized. Developmentally Appropriate Practice tells us children learn through play and hands- on offerings. While on the other hand, teachers are under increasing pressure to build skills to bridge the achievement gap. Teachers feel caught in this divide fostering an either/or mentality that is counterproductive to children’s growth and development. In the Complementary Curriculum Approach, discovery and explicit instruction coexist.

Dr. Iris Chin Ponte (she/her) is Director and Classroom Teacher at the Henry Frost Children’s Program Inc. in Belmont, MA. Dr. Ponte was trained personally by Director Debbie LeeKeenan of the world renowned Eliot-Pearson Children’s Laboratory School at Tufts University. Dr. Ponte has studied multiple early education approaches including, the Reggio Emilia Approach, the Montessori Method, as well as the Eliot-Pearson Developmental Approach.

As a former Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Ponte has expertise in cross-cultural issues in education. She has taught and conducted extensive school research in the United States, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Newfoundland. Dr. Ponte has also previously worked for Sesame Street Research at the Children’s Television Workshop in New York among many other media and research institutions. She has published in the areas of children and technology, behavior management, children’s play, and heritage trips for adoptees in China. In addition to being a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Ponte has received various scholarship and fellowship recognitions from the Children’s Defense Fund, the Watson IBM Fellowship, CBS, and the American Educational Research Association.


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