Sharon Jayakumar, a Philadelphia-based mom of 2, was inspired to build the Aspen Grove School for her son. She searched for a joyful learning environment for him, and, after many tours and waitlists, decided to build one. Alongside Sharon, the Aspen Grove School was also co-founded by Micah Straight. They were relentless in their pursuit to find and build a space that was magical, filled with natural light and had easy access to green spaces.
Sharon was deeply influenced by Erika Christakis’ “The Importance of Being Little” and believes in joy at the center of all learning and in the strength of an interconnected community. Sharon is at the school regularly and is hands-on with the leadership team in bringing Aspen Grove’s vision to life. Sharon is also the co-founder of Bhagya Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating girls from India’s slums, based in her hometown Bangalore, India. Income from The Aspen Grove School helps contribute to Bhagya’s funding.
To inspire and encourage all children to develop a lifelong love of learning, celebrate their strengths, thrive in their differences and believe that they too can make a dent in the universe.
As a Reggio-inspired school, we believe that the environment is the third teacher. Take a look at our expansive space that is designed to maximize natural light and reflect the shapes and colors found in nature. Visit our classrooms, set against sweeping ceilings, historic stained glass and beautiful arches. Our school is a beautiful renovation of a historic space that was previously the First African Baptist Church and spans 20,000 square feet across 3 levels. Our classrooms are intentionally designed, set up to invite curiosity and organized to create a sense of calm. Natural materials are used for both project work and décor. We recognize that children love (and need) to move. We have three spacious indoor gross motor areas dedicated to different age groups, one of which includes a climbing wall for our Preschool and Pre-K learners.