Welcome to Tanaina
The Tanaina philosophy can be summarized in four words: Discover, Explore, Create, Celebrate. The values and practices that lie behind these simple words add up to an early childhood care and education program that recognizes the uniqueness of each child in the context of nurturing community and relationship.
Drawing on several approaches to early childhood care and education, Tanaina recognizes every child as an individual who is growing and learning at her/his own rate with special interests, strengths, and needs. The Tanaina curriculum is emergent and integrated. In other words, teachers partner with the children to identify topics of interest and design activities around those topics. Natural surroundings and the design of physical space are valued as important aspects of children’s learning and exploration. Activities and projects include all the senses and all the developmental domains (social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and physical) to create meaningful and age-appropriate learning experiences. Children are encouraged to express themselves and to grow an understanding of the world and people around them.
Children and teachers refer to each other as friends, underscoring the attention to positive social development that sets the stage for all forms of success later on. The nurturing, family-like atmosphere encourages the children to take responsibility for their surroundings. Parents are included in many activities, both directly with the children and in supporting Tanaina behind the scenes.
Tanaina is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, incorporated in 1979. Tanaina is legally independent of the University of Alaska Anchorage but is housed on the UAA campus and has a particular mission to serve the young children (18 months-5 years) of UAA students, faculty, and staff. The children of other members of the Anchorage community are also welcome as enrollment allows. A summer program for school-age children is open to children of post-kindergarten 5 years old through 10 years old.