The Younger Group



Cathleen Tong teaches the three-year span of the Younger Group. She "lives the day" with her children, carefully nurturing the group of six- through nine-year-olds as they develop into a caring, concerned community of learners.

Academics begin to have a more traditionally structured form in the Y.G., with a strong basis in problem solving. The children are encouraged to find and use their own strengths as learners to build their skills through a large variety of activities and equipment.

The classroom is bright and busy. Cathleen encourages movement and talking, because children need to do both to learn. The whole Y.G. works on many things together, like plays, singing, group books, and a sense of group responsibility. They also work in small learning groups, teaching each other, and as individuals, developing their own ideas, work habits and projects.

Cathleen believes that children in these age ranges "need a wide path for learning."



YG Newsletter

  • Can I visit...
    Written by
    One of my favorite design features of our school is the long, light-filled hallway that is lined with blocks, cubbies, coat hooks, roller blades, plants... and entrances into every classroom. This design reflects the idea of the linear progression of time. When the children are younger, they are in classes farther down the hallway. As they grow, they move ever closer to the Older Group classroom which is the closest room to the main entrance of the school. When they graduate from the Older Group, they move on to new adventures in new schools, and the way out is right there next to their classroom. Last week at school, the children in the Younger Group expressed an increased interest in trying out a non-linear approach to their time at school. We started talking more about visiting. Visiting is something really special about our school. Children at the Antioch School are not strictly bound to stay in their group. They are allowed to make plans with the teachers to spend time with other groups. Children who are preparing to transition into an older group have the opportunity to spend time with their future peers, and get a preview of their new schedules. They can see the kind of lessons they will have, and the kind of work they will be doing. They get a feel for the new roles and responsibilities they will have. Some children decide to visit younger class groups. They may be curious about their younger peers. Some people visit younger class groups when they are feeling nostalgic, or like they missed out on some important work that could have happened when they were younger. I'm excited to see how the children explore this exciting non-linear approach! They Younger Group follows these guidelines about visiting other groups: 1. Make a plan with Elaina and MJ, and the teacher of the group you're visiting 2. You do whatever activity is happening with the group you're visiting 3. Visits are for one person at a time
Read more from the YG blog...
Elaina - The Younger Group Teacher

Elaina Vimmerstedt - Younger Group

Elaina was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She studied music education and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wittenberg University in Springfield, and holds a certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). During her time in college, Elaina served as an Americorps VISTA for Springfield Promise Neighborhood in their summer school program. After graduation, Elaina sought out alternative teaching posts that honored the humanity of the children and teachers involved. This search initially led her to the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center. During her time at Glen Helen, she led 30+ groups of children through the acres of the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. She also served as the program coordinator for the outdoor school.

Elaina first visited The Antioch School as an intrigued teacher from another school - she went to observe the environment, teachers, and children to see what could be gleaned from their unique approach to education. Soon after this inspirational day of observation, Elaina began working at The Antioch School as the assistant teacher in the Older Group classroom and an artist in residence teaching music to all classes.

“One of the most important responsibilities of a teacher is to know their students deeply. In that knowing, there is room for each child to be themselves and to be affirmed in their identity. In that knowing, there is acceptance of their unique trajectory in life. I always start with the learner. It is an honor to help facilitate the daily discoveries of children at The Antioch School as they grow.”

The Younger Group
For first-, second-, and third-graders
8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Upcoming Younger Group Events

Thu Jan 30 @12:15PM - 03:00PM
Swim & Gym

Fri Jan 31 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Wed Feb 05 @ 9:30AM - 10:30AM
In-School Performance - Ballet Stories in Motion

Thu Feb 06 @12:15PM - 03:00PM
Swim & Gym

Fri Feb 07 @10:00AM - 11:30AM
American Sign Language Lessons

Mon Feb 10 @12:00AM

Mon Feb 17 @12:00AM
Presidents Day - School Closed

Tue Feb 18 @12:00AM
Mid-Winter Break - School Closed

Thu Feb 20 @12:15PM - 03:00PM
Swim & Gym

Fri Feb 21 @10:00AM - 11:30AM
American Sign Language Lessons

Contact Christine

If you have a question for Christine, please use the form below to send her an email.

Testimonial of Alban Holyoke.

Alban Holyoke
The Antioch School 1990-1999