As an early leader in the development of early childhood education, Shady Lane has emphasized the value, attributes and uniqueness of each child’s development as individuals and members of the community since 1966. At Shady Lane, our focus is on the development of children as healthy, creative, positive and nurturing individuals within a diverse community. Our developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom help children grow in a play-based environment that encourages learning through hands-on exploration with materials appropriate to each child’s developmental level.
Shady Lane also contributes to the strength of the early childhood community more broadly, through professional development and consulting work with programs throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region and beyond.
About This Cause
Mission Statement: Shady Lane is a diverse learning community committed to programs of excellence for children, their families, and educators that embody best practices of early childhood education and promote collaborations that help all children realize their full potential.
Shady Lane comprises two primary programs, as well as serving a vital community role at the crossroads of several Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
Shady Lane School was established in 1966 in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Over the years, the School has served a variety of ages and been set in three different locations; since September 1992, the School has occupied most of the building that Shady Lane owns at the corner of Penn and North Braddock Avenues. The School currently serves 138 children between the ages of two through kindergarten entry, in ten classrooms. The School also includes two playgrounds, two indoor gym spaces, and an art studio.
From the beginning, Shady Lane has served as a model for other early childhood programs, through site visits, publications, conferences and collaborations. Since 2000, Shady Lane has expanded its reach by providing high-quality professional development and other support and consultation services to the professionals and programs that, in turn, educate and care for our area's youngest children. This work is done in our third floor Professional Development Room; on site at other local programs; and at local, regional and national conferences. Our professional development work also embraces collaborations with other educational agencies including Point Park University, the Southwest Regional Key, the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), and others.
Shady Lane prides itself on being a diverse, inclusive community, closely connected to the community at large. Our community includes educators, children and parents who are motivated and enthusiastic about learning, benefit from the stimulating environment offered here, and contribute to the life and passion of our School. Shady Lane's staff and educators take great pride in creating a school where educators listen, where parents participate and where children thrive and flourish. Our educators respond to the individual strengths and developmental needs of each child. In the process, we help children grow as individuals, in relationship with others and the worlds of materials and ideas.
We know that young children awaken their imaginations and feed their growth and development through direct interaction with the arts. We draw from all expressions (color, clay, textiles, song, movement, painting, drawing, music) to form the core of each classroom's curriculum. In addition, partnering, problem solving, conflict resolution, team building and other social skills act as building blocks, supporting future learning and the growth of complete, well-rounded people. Shady Lane invests not only in individual growth and accomplishment, but in collaborative process, empathy and the principle that everyone can learn from everyone else. Children emerge from Shady Lane more giving, confident, independent, curious, and able to solve problems and resolve conflict. We help students search for and form their own questions, ideas, and meaningful solutions in an environment of mutual trust.
Finally, Shady Lane celebrates the richness and diversity of city life, and seeks out partnerships with neighborhood, business and charitable organizations all working to make Pittsburgh vibrant and strong. Not only do we serve as an important hub for the development of early learning, but also as a highly-visible location in a rapidly growing area of Pittsburgh. Serving Point Breeze, Regent Square, Shadyside, Oakland, East Liberty, Homewood, Wilkinsburg, and other East End neighborhoods, we also house offices of three other important local charitable nonprofit agencies: the Three Rivers Community Foundation; the Environmental Charter School; and Dreams of Hope.