Community Champions: Matthew Reardon Early Learning Academy

Community Champions: Matthew Reardon Early Learning Academy

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Children often learn best from other children.

And that is happening already at a new preschool on Savannah's Southside, where kids with disabilities are playing, working and learning right alongside kids without disabilities.

There are a lot of lessons being taught at Savannah's newest preschool. But the overriding one at the Matthew Reardon Early Learning Academy is how to accept differences by ignoring them.

“The early learning academy is a preschool and it is an inclusion preschool for all children. So, we accept all children here,” Director Ciarra Torres said.

And in less than a month since opening, the preschool at the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism has fostered increased awareness, interaction and bonding between children with disabilities and those without disabilities sharing the same classroom.

"It's amazing watching the children already noticing that somebody might need a little more help and they'll be kind enough. Or they'll watch us use our same words and our same actions. It's pretty cool,” Early Learning Center Assistant Teacher Donna Kelly said.

Throughout the day, the teachers might not notice differences either.

"All the temper tantrums are the same. All the play is the same. All the not sharing is the same.”

That's kids being kids. And that's the concept the Community Champions at the Early Learning Center have seen develop naturally.

"Everyone’s different and there are different kids everywhere. And that’s the whole goal to continue to not see that.”

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