Are You a Good Shepherd?

When we met Cortaiga Collins, the Executive Director of the Good Shepherd Children's Center, we were struck by her simple, yet profound pedagogical philosophy: MORE NATURE.

Nature is real. 

Nature is real. 

According to CNN, we spend more than 10 hours each day looking at our various screens (smartphones, computers, and tv's). What does this near constant exposure to digital screens mean for our health? What does this digital saturation mean to a developing mind? We don't know yet, but the early verdict is not good. We do know for certain that our children's connection to nature, to the real world, is declining.

How do we turn this around?

Real is nature.

Real is nature.

JEMA's design for the 7000 sq. ft. Good Shepherd Infant & Toddler Center building is an extension of Good Shepherd's pedagogical approach of integrating nature with child care. Our design brings the natural world onto and into the new building. 

JEMA's design for the exterior incorporates a series of ivy-clad "green screens" along Page Ave.

JEMA's design for the exterior incorporates a series of ivy-clad "green screens" along Page Ave.

The building is a garden.

The building is a garden.

The exterior incorporates a series of ivy-covered "green screens" while the interior "main street" has its own "garden wall." The site design includes a natural outdoor playground.

JEMA's design creates an interior "main street" with wall gardens and mini-grandstands.

JEMA's design creates an interior "main street" with wall gardens and mini-grandstands.

Encountering nature...inside.

Encountering nature...inside.

Encountering nature...outside.

Encountering nature...outside.

Architecture makes a difference in our Being. By creating an environment where experiencing and learning about the real, about nature happens everyday, we begin to transform our children's lives. Way to go Good Shepherd!