Half Day Toddler
Lauren describes herself as a rambling woman as she was raised all around the east coast. Living in so many different environments she got the opportunity to witness the planet from many beautiful perspectives. Growing up, Lauren enjoyed climbing trees and big rocks, rolling around in puddles and mud, and exploring all the different forests in the many places she lived. Lauren spent high school in the Northwestern corner of New Jersey where you can find many cow pastures and the Appalachian Mountains.
Loving this environment, it only felt right when she began her higher educational journey up in Vermont. Lauren began her studies at Champlain College studying both Early Childhood and Elementary Education and got her first job as a preschool teacher. It was during this time Lauren began to pay close attention to Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. This theory argues that intelligence is not one singular number or ability that a person has, but is a combination of different strengths, affinities, and challenges that make each individual incredibly unique. While interning in the public school system, Lauren noticed that there is a focus on the Linguistic-Verbal and Logical-Mathematical intelligences which leaves many children feeling incapable or not smart enough if this is challenging for them.
While obtaining her Associate’s in Elementary Education online during the COVID pandemic at MassBay Community College, Lauren joined the team of a small non-profit in Waitsfield, Vermont to help build early education, elementary, and adolescent aged programs that could help young people find and utilize their strengths and intelligences. While building programs, her and her co-creators kept in mind that there are different ways of learning, knowing, thinking, and understanding that work for different kinds of brains.
Lauren was the Early Education Co-director specializing in preschool where she worked with staff to develop curriculum based off Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory and educated parents on this theory. She also co-developed an outdoor education program for school age children which allowed children to safely come together during the height of the pandemic and use the frozen streams, grassy mountains, and tall trees as a way for the children to connect with their friends, their world, and themselves during such a challenging time. Here, Lauren also directed a summer camp program for kindergarten through 5th grade and created a program for middle schoolers. In this program, the middle schoolers would find their strengths and affinities and do leadership and teambuilding exercises which they would then apply when working with young campers.
Lauren currently attends Lesley University in the Dual Degree Honors Program in Cambridge where she is obtaining both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts in Mental Health Counseling in Expressive Arts Therapy. It is her dream to use both art and nature to help young people find what they are good at to help instill confidence and independence and use their strengths to build resilience when overcoming challenges. In her free time, you can find her doing yoga, writing and performing songs on guitar, watercolor painting, dancing, and skiing in the green mountains. Lauren is so excited to continue her journey at BOPN and looks forward to connecting with all the children and families.