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Meet Jessica Spada of Magical Journey Learning Center in Ahwatukee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Spada.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My career as an early childhood educator began over 20 years ago. This has been a passion of mine for my entire life and the only job I have ever done. My family and I are originally from New York and made our way to Arizona for the beautiful blue skies and warm weather. My career began as a preschool assistant in NYC and worked my way up to preschool teacher for 12 years, asst director and director since 2007. I have a masters in early childhood education (birth through 2nd grade). It has always been a dream of mine to own and operate a school dedicated to early childhood. When I saw Magical Journey Learning Center with its small class size, low ratios, large classrooms and outdoor area overlooking desert foothills park, I just knew this was the place for me. A place where I could build on my dream by redesigning classrooms, curriculum, and honing in on the need for quality early childhood education, with an emphasis on lower ratios and creating hands-on experiences and curriculum around the individual needs of the children.

MJLC offers specials that include PE, Music and Movement, Spanish and computer classes. We are open all year round and offer an engaging summer program. We also offer flexible scheduling to accommodate working parents. Our mission is to create well-rounded, confident life long learners.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
MJLC decided to transition to younger ages. When we first introduced 2’s into our program last year, it was very successful and most of our new enrollment for the school year came from that age group, so as of August, we are accepting children 1yrs old through Pre-k.

We felt strongly that the demand for high-quality early childhood education, low ratios and individualized attention for young children is where MJLC will flourish.

Magical Journey Learning Center – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a private school in Ahwatukee dedicated to teaching the whole child… we focus on developing well- rounded, thoughtful, caring, empathetic children that care about the world around them. We focus on social-emotional growth as well as academics with a balance of teacher-child directed activities that keep children engaged throughout their entire day, even the before and after school program, school breaks and summer program. We provide meaningful enrichments like PE, Music and movement, Spanish and computer classes. During our Summer Program, we provided specials like Mad science, a petting zoo, Lego man, hula dancing lessons and reptile exhibit.

The last two years in June, we have hosted a math camp for Kyrene students to prepare them for the following school year. We like to give back to the community whether it’s collecting snacks for the Kyrene resource center, uno cards for children with cancer, sports equipment for middle school children during the Holidays or even lending a hand to one of our friends here in the classroom.

We are proud to offer a quality early childhood program with passionate and hands-on Owner, Director, teachers, and parents that genuinely care about their child’s learning environment and creating the best start to their child’s education.

So, what should we be on the lookout for, what’s next in store for you?
This Summer we redesigned our classrooms to accommodate our younger age groups. We now have dedicated classrooms for the 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and Pre-K children.

We also created an indoor movement center with hula hoops, scooter, slides, parachute play, bean bag toss and a rock climbing wall for when it is too hot to go outside.

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