“I am a changed person after having seen and done all this the past year. After chasing this particular dream for years and to finally catch it, my perspective shifted to the future stretching in front of me.”
Ploi came to the U.S. in 1997 from the Philippines and joined Arts for Learning in 2001. She classifies herself as an accidental arts administrator and has been able to blend her passion for the arts and early childhood education. Since the early 90s, Ploi has dreamed of visiting Reggio Emilia, Italy to explore its educational system. The Reggio Emilia approach has attracted the worldwide attention of educators and been hailed as the best method for preschool development. The approach encourages the use of the arts as a symbolic language to express understanding.
For her renewal, Ploi was accepted into the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance International Study Group, a weeklong study that focuses on all aspects of the Reggio Emilia Approach. She traveled to Italy and connected with other like-minded colleagues from all over the world and her experience did not disappoint. The biggest revelation for her was “that we, Americans, have learned from the Italians really well. We are making appropriate adaptations to this philosophy where at its core are two vital values: respect for children and elevating their rights as an important voice in the community.” Leaving Reggio Emilia, Ploi wandered around Venice with her husband. They ventured from Venice to Florence where she came face to face with Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Gallery. Completely overwhelmed with emotion, she was moved to tears. “Personally, my creative juices have been ‘squeezed.’ I have this burning desire to create again.”
Senior Director of Programs, Arts for Learning
Volunteer, Immigrant Welcome Center
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of San Carlos; course work in Early Childhood Education at University of Southern Indiana