Where many private schools enforce a dress code or school uniforms, Kids Village has a slightly different approach. Our students are allowed to wear whatever they (and their parents) would like to school, including hats as long as they’re not distracting!
While we’ve read the research about uniforms, focus, and productivity, Kids Village chooses to take a different approach with school uniforms.
Instead of telling students what they can and can’t wear, we ask them to wear a red Kids Village apron embroidered with their names. Kids Villagemaintains these aprons, and keeps them at school so they’ll always be in good repair, are never forgotten, and so they remain clean and pressed (without extra work for parents).
If you look through the doors of Kids Village, you’ll see that not only does every student wear a red apron, but so do our teachers and staff. While some parents believe these aprons are simply meant to keep clothes clean during our hands-on workshops, that’s only a small part of their origin.
1 – It Hosts An Environment of Teamwork and Unity
Since every member of Kids Village–students, teachers, and staff members–wear a red apron, the sense within the village is that everyone belongs. This automatic sense of belonging helps kids feel more at ease interacting with each other and with the teachers. It also creates an environment in which they’re more comfortable participating in group activities.
2- It Creates A More Welcoming Social Setting
Every child has their own apron embroidered with his or her name. This means each of our children has a natural feeling of belonging at Kids Village. It also helps our children more quickly learn each others names.
Our teachers always take the time at the beginning of the year to learn each of their students names, but having names on aprons means students feel safe, feel seen, and feel that they matter to those around them. This also means they are much more likely to have more open, positive lines of communication with the Kids Village teachers.
Read more about why names are important in a school atmosphere in our research article:
The Importance of Knowing Names
3 – It Encourages a Feeling of Beauty and Confidence
The Russian word for red, krasnyj, is related to the word krasivyj, the word for beautiful. After we’d chosen red as the color for our aprons, we consulted a color psychologist who explained that the color selection was perfect since seeing someone dressed in red means you’re more likely to see them as beautiful. We believe everyone in Kids Village–students, teachers, and parents alike–is beautiful and that they deserve to feel beautiful and confident. Because of this, we are proud to wear our red aprons and are glad they invoke feelings of beauty and confidence.
4 – It’s Part of Our Safety Protocol
The red aprons serve as a signifier in the Village of those who are a part of the Village and those who are visiting. We uphold the highest standards of safety at Kids Village to ensure our children are safe at all times, and having all students, staff, and teachers in red aprons is a part of our safety protocol.
5 – They Help our Students Feel More Confident and Equal
Our red aprons are an equalizer. Where many schools enforce school uniforms for the same reason, we wanted to offer our students a way to see each other as equals without also detracting from their self-expression. Our red aprons achieve this by giving each child, regardless of background, socioeconomic status or gender a clean, freshly-pressed apron every morning as they enter the classroom.
6 – Children Feel Free to Participate in Hands-On Activities
By the time children enter school, they’ve probably learned that they shouldn’t get their fancy new school clothes dirty. We believe in upholding the values of our students’ families, but we also believe that hands-on learning is one of the most important aspects of our award winning curriculum and learning environment. When our children wear their aprons, they are empowered to participate wholeheartedly in hands-on activities without the fear of getting messy.
7 – It Establishes an Important Sense of Routine
At the beginning of every morning, each student puts on their apron or has their teacher help them put their aprons on. This signifies the beginning of the school day. Children thrive on routine and “signals” that help things feel familiar. It creates a sense of safety and comfort, and is also important in the development of their basal ganglia–the part of the mind that recognizes routine and creates habits. Opening our day with putting on aprons signals to our children that it’s time for learning and creativity to begin.