reggio emilia inspired

Meet Alice Zini – Reggio Emilia Inspired Summer Camp Instructor

lascuolablog Italian Immersion, Reggio Emilia, Summer Camp

Summer Camp fun at La Scuola International San Francisco

Let me introduce you to Alice Zini, who just happens to be one of our Summer Camp instructors this week at La Scuola International School’s Mission campus. I was able to sit down with her for an impromptu interview and learn what brought her to San Francisco and to our school, and what motivates and inspires her!  And, quite frankly . . . how does a young woman from Modena, Italy, even go about getting a job at an International IB World School in San Francisco for only a few weeks in the summer!

When first meeting Alice, I immediately recognized what an energetic, positive individual she is.  She entered the office, and her smile, joy and passion filled the room.  

It turns out that Alice is the daughter of world-renowned architect Michele Zini, of ZPZ Partners, who is no stranger to the La Scuola International community. Mr. Zini has paid several visits to our various campuses and ZPZ Partners have helped to design and influence the current classrooms and campuses as well as playing an integral role in the design of the new Mission Campus building project.

But, getting back to Alice, here’s what I learned. Alice grew up surrounded by the Reggio Emilia information, with her father’s influence and experience, as well as her grandmother, who just happens to be the first atelierista hired by Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach! Vea Vecchi still works for  Reggio Children in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Alice just completed high school in Modena, Italy, and hopped on a plane the next day for her big flight to San Francisco. She attended a scientific high school, under a five-year program, and hopes to attend the Polytechnic University in Milano, Italy in the fall. And, what will she study there? Alice is very interested in service and product design, and hopes to use her education to design new ways of solving problems. She wants her designs to be “useful to someone who needs help.” And, she wants the designs shared globally, not just within Italy.  She is definitely thinking “big picture.”

Reggio Emilia inspired designs play an integral role on La Scuola’s campuses.

Finally, I asked Alice what she thought of the children in the summer camp, who are all La Scuola students. She said that she didn’t know exactly what to expect before arriving, but has been super happy to work with a group of children who exhibit empathy, can solve problems by themselves, take and use the freedom to approach questions and solutions in various ways, and are very collaborative with each other. I asked her to give me an example to which she responded, “Last week we were focused on the “5 Elements” theme. The children took it upon themselves to select different options to showcase their knowledge on this topic, by either deciding to color, to paint, to sculpt, or to write about what they knew and what they learned.”  She also was impressed that the children could speak the Italian language very well.

Thank you, Alice, for being part of our Summer Camp this year.

Micheline Savarin
Director of Marketing
La Scuola International School

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