When not writing, lecturing, or professionally engaged, Ann Lewin-Benham gardens, travels with her husband, Robert, or reads. For most of her life Ann founded and ran schools. In the mid-1970s she founded and for 20 years ran a large hands-on children’s museum in Washington, DC, an early one in a genre that today is found worldwide. Educators know Ann best for founding and directing the Model Early Learning Center (MELC), also in Washington, DC. There she forged a close relationship with the Italian pioneers of the Reggio schools, ultimately adapted Reggio practices at the MELC, and continues to study and write about the Reggio philosophy and practices.
After 18 years in Memphis, in 2013 Ann and Robert moved to Southern California. A life-long East Coaster, Ann now lives on the “other” ocean. The Schnauzer Lucy likes the new life and has not yet crawled under the fence to the canyon where coyotes and other dangers lurk. Severe drought conditions led to Ann’s new pastime—xeriscaping—as she replaced grass and learned a whole new plant vocabulary.