Located in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, the Huggins Center operates as one of three Fresno State Programs for Children centers. The Center boasts a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facility that provides a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment that encourages exploration, investigation, creativity and learning in the context of relationships.
The Huggins Center is dedicated to the study of a unique approach to education, the “Reggio Emilia Approach” from the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, rated as the “best schools in the world.” This inspiring approach is based on the notion that children have the capacity for representing ideas in a wide variety of symbolic modes, the "hundred languages of children" (Malaguzzi, 1998). Literacy development, critical thinking and creative expression are central to the curriculum. This approach is named after a city in Italy where the people developed their own teaching philosophy following World War II. The city is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach to education.
Central to the Reggio Emilia philosophy are the following set of principles:
• Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
• Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;• Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
• Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
Inspired by Reggio Emilia, the Huggins Center recognizes that collaborative and participatory relationships among children, parents, teachers and others not only create powerful and successful education and care programs, but also improve the quality of life in the community.