One of the greatest joys of working at Villa di Maria is watching our children grow. It’s not just that they get taller, know more words and lose their first teeth (although all of that is pretty great); it’s watching them develop, learn and expand as people. They are becoming who they are right before our eyes.
Part of who they are is a person in a community. That’s true of each of us—as humans, we are inherently social animals, and our communities are parts of our identities. And for the children at Villa di Maria, their community is the Children’s House.
During their three or more years in the Children’s House, children are free and encouraged to try on many different roles as they practice and expand their social skills.
They have the opportunity to serve their communities with classroom contributions and community jobs.
They sit down together for snack, lunch and sometimes holiday celebrations!
They work together and learn from each other.
They play together and form new friendships.
And sometimes help a new friend tie her shoe.
Whatever they’re doing during their time in the Villa di Maria Children’s House, they are doing it together. Learning and playing together, supporting and helping each other. With each other, these children are growing into their kind, compassionate and courteous selves. It is a lovely thing to witness, and we are grateful and honored to be a part of it.