Mayor Cathy Carlat awarded Journey School of Peoria as the Mayor’s Business of the Month for May 2021.
Journey School of Peoria, 13111 N. 94th Dr., is not an average early learning child center. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, the school uses hands-on, multi-sensory, nature-based curriculum that encourages children to explore their curiosity, knowledge and artistic abilities, while learning in an interactive setting.
Owner and head of school Bridget Sgro, opened the campus in February 2020.
Like many other businesses, they had to quickly adjust to the new reality brought about by the pandemic. While it wasn’t an easy time, Journey School of Peoria overcame these challenges and stepped up to support the community and essential workers who were on the front lines working long, extended hours.
“We are surrounded by health care and many of our families are essential workers who work long, 12-hour shifts,” Bridget said. “We extended our hours to our first responders for whatever the needs were. Our teachers were amazing and stepped up to be here.”
In a relatively short amount of time, and with a growing K-3 elementary program, the school has built a successful and unique learning environment.
Alyssa Sgro, director and assistant head of school, said all material and activities are on display for children to explore.
“A lot of times when we are building our curriculum, we’ll see that a two-year old was interested in a bird in the tree,” Alyssa said. “We’ll embrace that wonder and next week the class will learn about birds.”
As a nature-based school, students spend more time outside their classrooms, exploring and expanding their curiosity. Unique to this school are the number of animals on the 2.5-acre property, which include five chickens, four goats, two potbelly pigs, one bunny, one sheep, and a service dog named Journey. Trained in behavioral modification and anxiety in children, Journey is able to sense a child in need and serves as a source of comfort and calming.
Journey School of Peoria prides itself on being a community school, where children, family, teachers, parents, and community come together as one collective group.
“What I love about our classrooms is that they are really warm and inviting,” Alyssa said. “A lot of our kids are here more than they are at home, so we want them to feel welcomed into their classroom.”
For additional information, call 623-583-8855 or visit journeyschool.com.