The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

ELC Opens Doors

Director hopes for cross-campus connections
Yoni Zacks
Early Learning Center students play on the El Bosque Playground, one of the four playgrounds surrounding the building.

“[The Early Learning Center is] beautiful, it’s a really beautiful space and it’s fun to be in a building that’s brand new, has no history, and has a fresh start,” Early Learning Center (ELC) Interim Librarian Kali Olson shared. “[The ELC students are] really funny and really random,” Olson added. “They’ll just sit down, you’re their instant best friend, and they’ll just tell you everything about their little tiny lives.” 

The building was designed with the students in mind. Features of the building include the very bright and yellow movement center, the openness of the school, and the slide from the Kindergarten classrooms down to the main floor.

Olson explained the process behind her relocation to the ELC. “The Middle School Librarian, Victoria Robins, decided to move to Detroit. Ariana Hussain decided to take her place at the Middle School. She was the Highcroft Librarian, and so I’m just filling in here as an interim position. I thought it would be a really cool change of pace.”

Although the ELC is a “bus ride away,” ELC Director Toya West wants to build a relationship between the campuses. “I look forward to any connection with older students. They can’t see any older students. Upper School students are further away, but Middle School students are big to them. Upper Elementary students are big to them.” West furthered, “We are the new campus, the new place. It’s a subdivision not a whole division. It would just be nice to have a connection. It’s hard to do things super often.”

A highlight of that connection for West so far was Convocation. “[Convocation] was awesome. For the first time, Pre-K and K were part of it and everyone got to take care of a little person. We were all over here, all in the same color group so we could be found. Things like that.” 

West’s ideas for fostering that connection include ELC students attending Upper School performance rehearsals, Upper Schoolers teaching ELC students to cook or mathematical concepts, and serving ELC students at lunch. “I think another thing is connecting with deans and advisors to see what opportunities come up. It’s not that far away, it involves some form of transportation…it would be really cool to find ways to get more Upper School students over here, it’s a really cool space.”

However, visiting the ELC doesn’t always have to involve interactions with ELC students. West explained, “Even if it didn’t involve the children, if it was an art class coming to paint. I think there are a ton of opportunities, we just haven’t done it yet.”

“When you have Pre-K through 12, that’s our whole school,” West shared. “[I want to make] sure that the people here can be connected to the whole school.”

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About the Contributor
Yoni Zacks, Online Editor Editor
Hi! My name is Yoni Zacks, and I am a junior. I am the Student News Editor, Online Editor, and in charge of multimedia production. I have been writing for Spectrum since the first cycle of my freshman year, and this is my third semester as an editor.  Outside of Spectrum, I like to watch sports, play tennis, and discuss politics.

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