Alice Nahvi, a preschool teacher at Stony Brook Child Care Services (SBCCSI), has been awarded a Suffolk AEYC (Association for the Education of Young Children) mini grant for her proposal “PVC Building Blocks.”
Nahvi developed the grant proposal based on her personal experiences in the preschool classroom. The children expressed interest in building and construction, so she piloted activities to explore engineering concepts while promoting gross motor development, decision making and problem solving in math and physical sciences, as well as cooperation with peers while communicating and testing ideas.
Children constructed “life-sized” shelters (houses and tents) that could be redesigned to meet the needs of further play and exploration. Children also built main and branching water lines to examine water flow. The grant funding was used to purchase starter set materials so that all four preschool classrooms at SBCCSI can continue building.
“I have been working with children for more than 30 years as a teacher, full-time mother and owner of a business that produced children’s birthday parties,” said Nahvi. “I have an academic background in child psychology and have been working at SBCC with preschool children, ages three to five, for the last seven years. Children have taught me that playing is learning, and that I am never too old to stop playing.”