SA MONTHLY MAGAZINE
Jennifer McCarville Founder/Director Marvelously Made School Jennifer McCarville is in the business of changing the world. As the director of the highly lauded, Marvelously Made School, Jennifer is not only shaping future generations, but she is changing the hearts and minds of their parents. With a degree in early childhood education, Jennifer has taught for more than 25 years at some of the top-rated schools in the city. But with each path she took in education she realized that too much was being done to children, and not enough was done for them. In 2010 Jennifer was given the chance to revolutionize early childhood education. She started Marvelously Made Preschool in the Helotes Hills United Methodist Church, where she was given the freedom to create a program that was designed to honor children. The school was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit because as Jennifer said, schools should be for children. Not for profits As her vision for the school grew beyond the preschool level, Jennifer sought to expand. And in 2015, using donations and
money out of her own pocket, Jennifer took a leap of faith and secured a little cottage on a corner in Old Town Helotes. With the unwavering support of her partners, Allison Poole and Kim Stallman, the Marvelously Made School was born. These three women were able to realize a dream that had been in the works for more than 26 years. Marvelously Made School now serves children ages 3 to 1st grade. And with expansive outdoor classrooms, student gardens, unlimited access to art supplies, and even a school chicken coop, the enrichment that children and families get at Marvelously Made is unmatched anywhere else. I am so humbled and overwhelmed when parents tell me I have changed the way they look at parenting, Jennifer said. The children have always been our first priority. And once we had that down we were able to start working to empower the parents. Rather than forcing children into arbitrary boxes of traced letters and drilled flashcards, Marvelously Made gives children the space and environment to grow and absorb real skills and develop a love of learning. Worksheets are just receipts for parents. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually measure what your child knows Jennifer said. There is a real difference between regurgitating and actually learning. Jennifer said they are working to change the conversation about childhood education. Study after study has shown that the biggest piece of development for children up to age 8 is their social and emotional development. Without that, there is nothing else. Math and reading are important skills that will come, but the most important work that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re missing as a society is helping these whole people develop into a part of a community, she said. When tragedy strikes, and we try to find where we might be going wrong, Jennifer believes the key lies in the tiny hands and hearts of our children. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why this woman is in the business of changing the world of education, one mind at a time.