Gina Forbes, One Tree Center Director &
Teacher/Director of Roots and Fruits Preschool
Gina was born and raised in Southeastern Connecticut where she was surrounded by her younger sister and several younger cousins and neighbors. Since she was old enough, she was charged with babysitting and overseeing the young kids in her life. Gina made her way to Maine in 2008 via Boston, Massachusetts where she attended Simmons College and received her BA in Psychology. She became a doula in 2004 and spent almost 10 years working with families during the childbearing year in a variety of capacities—educating, supporting, and facilitating well-being for prenatal, birth, and the postpartum. She now has a Masters in Education from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT where she spent time integrating her past experiences in reproductive health with her understanding of holistic education.
In 2008, her son Chester was born and he has been her biggest teacher of how to appropriately and effectively support children (and families) as they develop over time. Gina’s interest in family well-being has expanded beyond the childbearing year and she is excited to be working with children in the 3-5 year old range. Gina is also studying Somatic Experiencing, a modality to support healing from chronic or developmental stress and trauma. Through her studies, she is focusing on how to use this technique exclusively with children and their families. This learning enhances her ability to work with children in the classroom and beyond. You may also see Gina around town going for long walks, doing yoga, or playing with Chester and his buddies.
Virginia E. Dearani, Founder and Senior Advisor
Virginia Dearani is the Founder and Senior Advisor of One Tree Center. She received her Masters in Education with a concentration in Partnership from Goddard College. She has been teaching children and youth ages 3 – 17 for over twenty years in a variety of environments. Her primary focus has been on violence prevention, anti-bias education, and cross-cultural relations. She has created violence prevention educational programs for children ages 3 – 13, utilizing many tools, i.e. puppets, drama, music, experiential activities, cooperative games, and art, among others.
Virginia has taught in the Early Childhood Education Program at University of Maine Farmington, Central Maine Community College and Southern Maine Community College, . She is also a licensed Maine Roads to Quality Trainer where she provides various trainings for educators of young children throughout the State of Maine. She currently writes early childhood curriculum on culturally responsive programs and creating peaceful classrooms for the State of Maine.
Virginia has tremendous energy and is passionate about teaching and learning from young children. She is committed to creating a positive, diverse learning environment for children where they can bring their whole selves to the classroom and be active participants in their educational journey. She truly believes every child is the hope for the future with the talent, imagination, and desire to create communities of peace and compassion.