Carolina Friends School

Carolina Friends School was founded in 1962 and opened in 1964 by members of the Durham and Chapel Hill Friends Meetings to provide a racially integrated school exemplifying Quaker values. The School, located on 126 acres near Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough, North Carolina, now has a total enrollment of 500 students from ages three to eighteen and approximately 95 full- and part-time staff members.

At Carolina Friends, learning is dynamic, experiential, and interactive. Students encounter open-ended questions, undertake original projects of real relevance, explore the natural world, and immerse themselves in service learning. In doing so, they build impressive powers of critical, creative, and independent thinking and expression. It is an exceptional education shaped by a clear set of beliefs: a commitment to Quaker values, a love of children, and a sense of hope for the communities, local and global, they will soon lead and serve. 

Our mission is to empower students to think critically, creatively, and independently. We foster active exploration and quiet reflection, individual endeavor and collaborative engagement. Inspired by Quaker values -- pursuit of truth, respect for all, peaceful resolution of conflict, simplicity, the call to service -- we teach our children that it is possible to change the world.

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University

Established in 1972 as the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy is ranked fourth in the United States in public policy analysis. The Sanford School is named for its founder, the late Terry Sanford, who was an influential advocate for education in his roles as governor of North Carolina, U.S. senator, and president of Duke University.

The Sanford School is committed to having an impact in our region, in the nation and in the world through research that matters, teaching that empowers and inspires, policy innovation, and deep engagement with the policy world. 

The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in public policy and international development policy. The undergraduate program is among the nation’s largest, with approximately 175 graduates each year.

The multidisciplinary faculty includes 11 who hold distinguished chairs and five members of the National Academy of Sciences. The faculty also includes experienced top-tier professionals such as former senior civilian attorney for the U.S. Army Tom Taylor and formerWashington Post managing editor Philip Bennett.

About a dozen research centers and programs operate under the auspices of the Sanford School, including the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. The Center for Child and Family Policy pursues science-based solutions to important problems affecting today’s children and families.

Established in 1999 and led by Professor Kenneth A. Dodge, the center conducted the largest violence-prevention study ever funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and is home to a large research effort focused on the biology and behavior underlying teen substance abuse. The Center’s early childhood policy work includes research on the life-long impact of early poverty, government nutrition subsidies, infant home-visiting policies, early education and childcare.

Lakewood Avenue Children's School

Founded in 1986 by Margaret Edwards, Lakewood Avenue Children’s School was an early pioneer in the Reggio Emilia approach in the Durham area, providing exemplary early childhood and preschool education for one to five year-olds. 33 children are enrolled in three separate classrooms. In 1988, Lakewood was the first full-time program in NC to be accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs (now NAEYC). In 1998, Lakewood was recognized as one of ten exemplary early childhood programs in the nation by High Scope Educational Research Foundation and NAEYC.

The program is housed in a Durham residential neighborhood in a house that was renovated for, and is totally devoted to, the children and families.
Their curriculum is:
● Child-centered. Children learn through play and naturally choose activities that stimulate their unique development.
●  Emergent. Children learn best when curriculum is based on the children’s interests and developmental needs.
●  Supportive. Low ratios mean their program is responsive to ongoing individual children’s assessment, and is unique to each child.
● Influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach. Their program emphasizes the importance of the children’s learning environment, creative expression, and ongoing, reciprocal relationships between children and adults.
● Enhanced by their Outdoor Learning Initiative. Their program focuses on the environment through children’s interactions with, and care for, the natural world.

The school’s environments evolve as the program continues to be inspired by the spaces in the Reggio Emilia schools, and they continuously make modifications to suit the needs and interests of the specific children enrolled.
The Director, following Margaret Edward’s retirement in 2007, is Marcia Brooks. Marcia was hired by Margaret, at the onset of the school’s interest of the Reggio Emilia approach to teach at the school in 1991 because of her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts. When Marcia went to graduate school for early childhood environmental design, her two children attended Lakewood. Marcia has had a 25-year history with the program and the Reggio Emilia approach, as a teacher, parent and director.

Lakewood Avenue Children’s School has served as host to student groups from both UNC-CH and Meredith College for many years. UNC-CH and Meredith early childhood students have completed practicum work at the school. Currently, a recent UNC-CH early childhood graduate and two Meredith graduates are among the teachers at Lakewood.
Marcia participated in the NAREA Summer Institute in Boulder, CO in 2008, and in the Reggio Emilia Study Tour in Italy in 2013 with Sharon Palsha, faculty at the UNC School of Education. Lakewood is excited about offering local professional development, bringing the Wonder of Learning to Durham, and being part of the NAREA Winter Institute.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC-CH School of Education

UNC-Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. Carolina’s vibrant people and programs attest to the University’s long-standing place among leaders in higher education since it was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors for students in 1795. Situated in the beautiful college town of Chapel Hill, N.C., UNC has earned a reputation as one of the best universities in the world. Carolina prides itself on a strong, diverse student body, academic opportunities not found anywhere else, and a value unmatched by any public university in the nation. In 1868 the NC Constitution directed the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to educate teachers to teach the children of NC in its state’s schools. In 1885 UNC-CH’s School of Education became one the four professional schools at the University. Today the School of Education offers highly effective undergraduate and graduate degrees. The conceptual framework of the School of Education is Preparing Leaders in Education for Excellence and Equity in a Democratic Society The School of Education is committed to the preparation of candidates who can assume leadership roles in the field of education supporting Birth-20 student development and learning. The School is committed to a social justice focus with UNC SOE faculty preparing educational leaders in early childhood education, PreK to high school education, higher education, policy and in public service. UNC-CH SOE faculty pursue rigorous, practice-oriented research, and provide important service. The SOE faculty is a community of scholars and practitioners who are deeply committed to educational opportunity for all. The early childhood program at UNC prepares educators and early interventionist who work with children ages birth to 8 and their families. It is with great pleasure and a privilege that the UNC- CH School of Education is co-hosting the Wonder of Learning Project in North Carolina.