Jessica Clayton

e8bfef_754b4d79659f47e2a0b158b37710980c_mv2.jpgI work as a teacher and owner/operator of my home daycare right here in Brick; Riverside Rhymes Nature Play School. I am an advocate for children; standing up for their right to learn the way that scientific research has proven is best: through child-led play in an emergent curriculum that harnesses children's interests as a prompt for in depth understanding. I was inspired to run for board of education when I found out that play, recess, and child-led learning are not valued here in Brick Schools. I volunteer as a co-leader for a mixed age Daisy/Brownie troop in town and when my Girl Scouts and their parents began to tell me what was happening in our schools, I wanted to do something to make a difference for our kids.

I'm a NJ certified teacher in both Preschool through 3rd grade and Kindergarten through fifth. I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in both History and English and did graduate work at Montclair State University in early childhood education, completing a P-3 certification program. I taught as a certified teacher in bilingual public preschool inclusion programs in both New Brunswick and Trenton for 6 years before opening up my state licensed home daycare here in Brick seven years ago. I have worked with young children for over 15 years in various settings including as an assistant in a classroom for students with autism, a camp counselor, a nanny, a para-professional, a substitute in Lakewood public schools & most recently as a professional development consultant to inspire other teachers to deepen the connection between children and nature.
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I am very proud to say that I am now an award winning teacher, having recently earned the Wonder Award from the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS), of which I am a founding member. I am currently helping to organize a professional development conference for early childhood educators in Hopewell, NJ at Painted Oak Preschool on November 11, 2017.

Jessica Clayton

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