A friendship blossomed in 2006 between Viktoria and Elliott in the early childhood program at the Child Study Center, an accredited laboratory school at East Tennessee State University. They were both five years of age and from very different backgrounds. Viktoria, accompanying her mother on a post-doctoral sabbatical at the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood, came from Copenhagen, Denmark. Elliott, on the other hand, lived in Jonesborough, TN, with his family.
In the Child Study Center, their friendship flourished. Viktoria and Elliott played together, listened to stories, communicated, and participated in meaningful activities for young children. They interacted with peers and quality early childhood educators.
After six months in the US, Viktoria and her mother returned to Denmark. Viktoria resumed her studies, and her mother became a professor. Meanwhile, Elliott embarked on an educational journey that took him to Spain as an exchange student. During his travels, he was invited to visit Viktoria’s family in Copenhagen. They continued to stay in contact and had subsequent visits between Copenhagen and Jonesborough. As life progressed, Viktoria pursued higher education at the University of Copenhagen, while Elliott pursued his passion, earning a degree in cinematography.
In January, Viktoria and her mother revisited Tennessee and stayed with Elliot’s family. This visit marked a turning point in their relationship, blossoming into something more romantic.
What began as a friendship nurtured in the Child Study Center matured into a meaningful relationship. It all began in the preschool years, connecting again in high school, and blooming into a very special relationship in young adulthood.
Many young children build relationships in early childhood programs that last for many years and through different levels of education. This relationship between Viktoria and Elliott demonstrates the impact of meaningful personal experiences in the early years that can become the foundation for lifelong friendships and partnerships.
A very special story for month of February.
Nurture the relationships and friendships that are developed during the early years.