Our educators create a culture that maximizes possibility. We provide a safe and beautiful environment so that each child's best self is enticed to be 'led out' in order to discover the world and their own growing abilities.
Founder & Educator
Monica Snavely received a BA in Theatre Arts from Virgina Tech, followed by a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts & Dance Education and Outreach from the University of New Mexico. She is an educator with over 15 years of experience. She began her career teaching movement and gymnastics to toddlers in Albuquerque, NM. She moved to NYC after a stint teaching English in Italy and her work progressed into K-12 public and private educational institutions and nonprofit recreational programs. In NYC, she has been a faculty member at The Hudson School (8th Grade Language Arts and Philosophy of Aesthetics; 5th & 6th Grade Movement), The Brooklyn Waldorf School (Parent-Child Assistant), and PS 224 (6th Grade Teacher, all core academic subjects). In addition, she has led workshops in dance, movement, drama, and conflict resolution at places such as: PS 183, Grace Church School, The Chapin School, Drama Kids International, Mark Morris Dance Center, Girl Scouts, Girls Leadership, Kids Love to Dance, and Harlem Hospital Pediatric Department. Due to this firsthand experience with children in various points in their development she sought to create a curriculum which valued emotional-social development, the creative arts, movement, and a connection to nature so that academic knowledge could be acquired through an environment of joy and curiosity rather than boredom or duress. When she had her son in the winter of 2016 she decided to tailor her curriculum to early childhood.
Marlena U'ilani Gentry Giraldo
Marlena was born and raised in Hawaii and has been living in New York City for the past 7 years. She has worked with children since the age of 12, baby sitting, teaching flower lei making, ukulele, and exploring the natural environment of the Big Island. While studying nursing in Hilo Hawaii at HCC and working as a nurse's aide at Hilo Medical Center and North Hawaii Community Hospital she discovered her love for healing. In NYC she gained her certification in Healing Touch, and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy while working as a Travel Nanny. While travelling to places like Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, and her native Hawaii, along with many other far-flung locations and caring for three wonderful children, Marlena continued to develop her skills as an early childhood educator. Marlena continued her practice working with the children of the Stuyvesant Heights Co-op Preschool of which she is a founding parent member. A mother of two fabulous children, Nautilus and Nova, she continues to inspire and be inspired by all the children in her life.
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