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A Master Preschool Teacher Comes to Topanga to Guide Children at Better World Learning Pod
Kidsbeat, NewsBeat

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Finding the right preschool for your child is never easy. In Topanga, it can feel impossible. Almost every preschool slot is filled six to twelve months before the school year starts. New pre-schooling opportunities rarely appear here… until now. The Topanga-based nonprofit, 5Journeys, is opening its learning pod for two-and-a-half to five-year-olds beginning September 1st. 5Journeys has hired the excellent teacher Amanda June, a renowned early childhood educator with a master’s degree focused on the Reggio Emilia approach for preschoolers. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an outstanding teacher, parent, and human leading this effort,” says Betsy Havens, Director of this project. 

Better World Learning Pod selected the Reggio Emilia pedagogy as the most proven approach to instill a lifelong love for education. Teacher Amanda June has a decade of experience with Reggio Emilia preschooling. She has the gift of creating integrated learning opportunities for children based on their interests and leadership. Amanda June expertly weaves in math, science, writing, reading skills, and physical and social-emotional learning while the children pursue their interests. Monday through Wednesday, the children will learn at a home by Froggy’s with two classrooms and six outdoor play/learn zones. The Better World Learning Pod will spend Thursdays exploring our local community in project-based field trips and Fridays at the Better World Gardens (formerly known as 5Journeys Farm) in the Tuna Canyon reserve, Topanga. 

The Pod will have two groups of six children each, grouped by age and development. As part of its nonprofit DNA, the Better World Learning pod will offer some Co-op slots for parents who want to volunteer for discounted tuition. And for those who enroll before August 19th, there will be a further 10% annual discount on tuition.

The Pod is proudly pro-science and pro-vaccine and has several measures to keep its students, staff, and families healthy. These include weekly COVID tests, daily temperature tests, masks for sniffling or coughing children, and specific vaccination requirements. 

Better World Learning Pod is run by 5Journeys, a non-profit headquartered in Topanga, whose mission is to improve people’s lives through regenerative farming practices, community building, and mindfulness. More at

Better World Learning Pod will hold open houses August 14 at 3pm, August 17 at 6pm, and August 28 at 4 pm. For more information, contact Denise DeGarmo at or Haven and Betsy at (305) 766-4389. Sign up at  

EDITORS NOTE: While here at TNT we dream of families all over the Santa Monica Mountains sitting down and reading our informative and entertaining articles out loud together, we also know that there are times when moms and dads need to work and feel good about what their kids are doing. 

When we started TNT during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, one of our major goals was to provide helpful information for our community, and that is still our mission, as life shifts into what we all hope will be the post-COVID era. In that spirit and just in time for the start of the new school year, we are introducing our newest section: Kidsbeat

This is a place to find information on local schools, extracurricular programs, enrichment and fun family activities. We invite all of our schools, families, teachers and students to submit material, whether it’s auditions for a play, a new preschool program, a home school project, or just something fun to share: poetry, art, stories. Email us at, and look for Kidsbeat in print and online at

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