A parent for over 27 years and mother of 3 young men, Larissa has often joked that had she begun having children earlier, she'd have ended up with eight! Happily, her 20 years of childcare have provided her the opportunity to do what she loves best: the nurture and care of young children, work she describes as an ongoing journey of discovery.
Larissa's formal education includes a B.S. in dance education from Hunter College (C.U.N.Y.) and 12 years of classical piano. Raised bilingual, Larissa believes early exposure to more than one language facilitates superior auditory processing skills, and enhances perceptual and cognitive functions. She has also worked with many children for whom English was not their first language, including deaf children. She can converse in 3 languages and also knows American Sign Language. She has been attending trainings and workshops in child development, parenting, and the arts for over twenty years, and has had extensive experience teaching Music Together® (an early childhood music program) in Durham and Cary. An avid reader, her interests include psychology, neuroscience, mind-body connection, music, and spirituality, especially as these relate to wellness, and the achievement of human potential.
She believes that children are society’s most important investment and need to be respected, nurtured, protected and loved. She also believes that heartfelt joyful engagement with life is the single most important value parents can transmit to their children. She sees her work with children as an opportunity to cultivate gratitude, compassion, and mindfulness in her own life. In addition to reading, she renews and revives herself through dancing, singing, swimming, nature walks and yoga. A self-taught carpenter, artist and designer she has used her many creative skills both to build and make children’s materials and equipment as well as in her work with them.