About Treehouse Learning


About Treehouse Learning

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Treehouse Learning is a private, locally owned Early Childhood Education program. Treehouse Learning is located on 1.25 acres in the Indian Peaks neighborhood of Lafayette at 95th and Baseline. Completed in 1997, the building is distinguished by its unique design, triangular roof line and windows, along with generous large natural grass playgrounds. The original facility was designed and built specifically with children and families in mind. The classrooms, lobby and kitchen all radiate from the center common room which is distinguished by abundant natural light.

Our primary mission is to provide a safe, stimulating environment to support early learning experiences and support healthy social emotional growth. Developmental research has identified “windows of opportunity” in children for optimal times to learn language, analytical reasoning, spatial relationships, physical coordination, and musical abilities. We believe that children deserve excellent care and nurturing in the company of experienced and trained early care professionals. Fundamental to our mission is our commitment to maintain a knowledgeable, responsive, teaching staff that is dedicated to early childhood education as a career and a profession.

Administration Team

Our Administrative team assures that the Treehouse Learning program functions smoothly, maintains licensing requirements, keeps direct focus on excellence, and effectively communicates with the Treehouse Learning community of families and teachers. This includes our Program Director Amy Carr, Assistant Director, Stasia Flora, and Curriculum Director, Cezanne Mascioli.

Program Director: Amy Carr

Image of Treehouse Learning Program Director Amy CarrJoined Treehouse Learning in 2009.

She/Her/Hers I am a Colorado native! I split my childhood between the eastern plains and the front range mountains. I have lived most of my life at 9,000’ and love all the hiking, running, and 4 wheeling that it has to offer. I left home for college and received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Knox College in Illinois. After learning that my heart belongs in early childhood education, I completed the Buell Early Childhood Leadership fellowship which earned my director’s certification. Last year, I received my Master’s degree in Leadership for Educational Organizations with an early childhood focus. When I’m not out with my family in the woods, I enjoy writing our legislators about all things related to families and children, you may even see me down at the Capitol from time to time!

 

Owner | Founding Family: Amy Benson May

Amy Benson May (She/Her/Hers)

 

A Boulder native and Fairview High School graduate, founding family member Amy Benson May was a high school student at the time Treehouse Learning opened its doors for the first time in 1997.  She graduated from Smith College with a BA in Women’s Studies, cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, during which time she also spent a transformative year nannying for twin babies and learning about attachment theory and responsive caregiving. 

Her early post-Smith College career was as a financial analyst in New York City and Boston at Banc of America Securities, BNP Paribas, and Harvard Management Company.  She eventually left the finance world when she became a mother, also discovering a passion for maternal and child-related issues.

In early 2012, the May family moved back to Colorado, where she worked as an Assistant Teacher in the Infant and Toddler program at Treehouse Learning. 

After the death of her mother, Dr. Nancy Benson, Amy dedicated herself to personal and professional learning and development in early childhood education.  She continues ongoing coursework in Early Childhood Education in pursuit of a Director’s Qualification certificate. She is a parent of four children, all of whom are Treehouse Learning alumni or current students.

Part of an entire family of self-directed learners, Amy is a perpetual student and co-learner, believing that learning most effectively occurs in the context of playful and joy-filled learning experiences.    

Along with her partner, 4 children, and a host of animals, trees, and gardens on their homestead, Amy is passionate about gardening and regenerative food and growing systems as part of building a resilient, sustainable, and peaceful world for all.  Amy feels most alive through movement (especially distance running, Alpine mountain climbing, hiking, and dance), art (drawing and painting birds), and music (playing piano, singing, and making up songs to share with the Treehouse Learning community)! Amy draws inspiration from the innate playfulness and creativity of children to learn experientially by engaging with the living world around us. 

Meet Our Founder

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Dr. Nancy Benson (1948-2012)

The Treehouse Learning program is a continuation of Nancy’s personal and professional commitment to the field of education. Nancy enjoyed a lengthy career in public school and higher education, spanning elementary, middle and high school, and university teaching.

She held an M.A. (1975) with specialization in reading K-12, and a Ph.D. (1979) in education with focus on evaluation methodology, both from CU-Boulder. Her daughters, Susan and Amy, were influential in shaping her notions about parenting and education. Until August 2011, Nancy maintained an active role in the leadership of Treehouse Learning as one of the Directors, and she enjoyed writing, speaking, and research on topics related to early childhood education. Her legacy is evident at Treehouse Learning with each new year, we watch confident kindergartners move on, and we greet bright-eyed infants as they are just starting out. We are proud to continue on the path Nancy paved.

Meet the Owners

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Susan Benson Horn-Paxson (right) and Amy Benson May, daughters of founder Nancy Benson, are the local owners of Treehouse Learning. Their goal is to facilitate Treehouse’s mission and honor Nancy’s vision of a strong contribution to early childhood education in Boulder County.

Amy and Susan have both enjoyed the dual roles of owners and parents at Treehouse Learning. 

Our Teachers

A group of Treehouse Learning staff sits for a portrait in front of a mural with the words, "We rise by lifting others"

A silly group shot of Treehouse Learning staff

Selected for their expertise in early education and their enjoyment of children, our teachers are well-paid professionals who have much to offer our Treehouse Learning program and families.  At Treehouse Learning, we actively encourage longevity and promote career development. Within each classroom, Treehouse Learning teachers establish secure and respectful relationships with children, responding to their individual interests and creating appropriate challenges. 

The quality and professionalism of our Treehouse Learning teachers clearly demonstrate our values and mission on behalf of children. Models of lifelong learning themselves, our teachers share a commitment to the early childhood profession, and live their work with dedication, skill, and integrity.  

smtl-logo-again Why a Tree House?
To be in a tree house is to be inside and yet outside, to be free and yet protected, to be held up in the air, yet rooted, held. It is a distant retreat, yet conveniently near.  It is being adventurous and yet home-loving, a wayfarer and nest builder, a pirate and a lighthouse keeper.  Tree houses enclose all the spirit that needs enclosure and liberate all the spirit that needs to see from horizon to horizon and guess what lies beyond.
Tree Houses: an Illustrated Essay on the Aesthetic and Practical Aspects of Arboreal Architecture by the Staff of the Green Tiger Press, 19