Our History: Our Beginnings & Direction
In 1991, the educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy, introduced the concept of an educational exchange to Ohio’s early childhood community through the exhibit: The Hundred Languages of Children. The Ohio Department of Education sponsored the exhibit which served as both a location and a topic to bring individuals from many early care and education programs together to share their reactions, dreams, ideas and impressions. In 1994, informal study groups formed around the state to continue the exchange.
By 2004, over 500 study group members including teachers, caregivers, parents, administrators and other early childhood professionals had entered into a dialogue to develop a shared understanding of the principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach and to explore how these principles could inspire change in their individual settings. In 2007, the informally organized network of study groups became incorporated and known as: Ohio Voices for Learning: A Reggio Inspired Forum (OVL). Study groups and statewide meetings continue.
Ohio Voices for Learning: A Reggio Inspired Forum is a dynamic network that values, respects, and honors the diversity and integrity of all young children, their families, and the professionals who support them. As such we are advocates and researchers of inquiry-based learning, which fosters open, collegial relationships in order to inspire quality early learning communities.
Everyone who is a member of an OVL Study Group is a member of OVL. Each member is required to complete an annual memorandum of commitment that covers participation, reflection and practice, and documentation. Members may receive up to 15 hours of Ohio Approved Professional Development credit.
The Governing Board is made up of Study Group Facilitators. They meet several times a year to lend their voices to the business of the organization, serve on committees, and help to lead the organization. The Governing Board elects the Executive Committee who sets the agenda for meetings, chairs committees, and oversees the general business operations. The Executive Director provides support to OVL and secures Ohio Approved Professional Development credit. With exception of the Executive Director, all positions are volunteer.