Fulfilling a Lifelong Dream to Educate Young Children in Wilmington, NC

Perhaps it was her parents’ influence as career educators that sparked Krista Smart Beall’s calling to teach young children. Growing up, she was exposed to the wonders of education through her parents’ experience. That was the inspiration she needed to open a business that would allow her to dedicate her life to working with children.

bealls family

Their Story

Krista actually began her college career as a business major then switched to education because it just felt right to return to her roots.  Krista has spent years in the classroom helping children embrace a love of learning.

She is an experienced teacher with a background in special education and is a certified dyslexia specialist. As a veteran teacher, Krista recognizes the need to provide a child-centered curriculum as early as possible in a little one’s educational journey.

Now, she has the best of both worlds, combining her love of teaching with her business savvy. She and her husband, Nick, recently opened their Ivybrook Academy location in Wilmington, North Carolina, which has brought her dream full circle.

“Wilmington is home for us, and we are so excited to provide this amazing educational experience to little learners in our area,” says Krista.

Krista wears many hats at their Ivybrook campus in Wilmington, including being the owner, and is serving as the school principal. She is involved with every aspect of the school, including assisting with the curriculum.

Krista and Nick hired teachers who share their passion and truly love educating young children and believe that every child has the right to learn. They equally embrace creating an environment where students, their families, and educators feel that they have a voice and that what they are saying really matters.

Ivybrook has a unique distinction educationally. The curriculum is based on a multi-faceted approach to early childhood learning. It is a hybrid of Montessori and Reggio Emilia concepts and Multiple Intelligence Research.

The result is a top-quality pre-school experience that meets the individual needs of little learners through a collaborative approach to early childhood education.

At Ivybrook Academy the Student is the Top Priority

Children have an innate curiosity that needs to be fed, and Ivybrook Academy’s award-winning approach to early childhood education helps children build a love of learning. The building blocks of this philosophy center around creating a comfortable and calm space for students to grow and thrive.

“Ivybrook’s curriculum is unique because of how it allows each child to travel down their own individualized learning path,” explains Krista. “From day one, our educators work to tailor learning to specifically meet a child’s needs. Plus, we let our students have a choice in what they would like to learn about.”

For example, a child may enter a classroom and immediately be curious about an easel set up with paints and paper. The educator will use this as a learning opportunity by asking questions that encourage the child to further express what is being painted.

Krista says the educator collaborates with the student, allowing the child to take the lead. “We will ask why those colors were chosen and what the shapes represent to take the learning experience to the next level.”

Ivybrook Academy provides a curriculum that appeals to a child’s strengths, which allows them to explore and discover, creating a positive learning environment as compared with a more rigid structured curriculum. Ivybrook Academy provides children the freedom to grow, learn and share their experiences.

The impact of early childhood education on cognitive development is well-documented. As the awareness of early childhood education’s impact on behavior and health grows, so does the need for institutions that value and nurture children’s natural curiosity.

Click here to find out more about classes offered at Ivybrook Academy in Wilmington.

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