Innovative New Learning Opportunity for Children and Families in Emory Area

By Amy Wilson (Zone of Light)

Audrey Adelson, MSW, WLCP
June 17, 2013



Zone of Light Studio is a new studio space located near Emory’s main campus. Situated at 1174 Zonolite Place, NE (off Briarcliff Road), the new outfit offers a diverse and holistic view of teaching - and it may be something to consider for kids, adults or the whole family this summer. ZOL (Zone of Light) provides innovative learning opportunities for children and adults to have fun while focusing on enrichment, creativity, and the arts. ZOL opened its doors to the public this past spring with exciting and educational programming to fill days that DeKalb county and Atlanta Public Schools were closed and with the introduction of their spring break camp in April. ZOL will be hosting various kinds of programs throughout the summer including themed summer camps, parents-nights-out, Saturday Nights for Adults and some other fun events.


Amy Wilson, the founder and Executive Director of ZOL, is a former Discovery teacher in DeKalb County. After furthering her education and completing her Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction, she decided the best way to make a difference in the lives of children and in the community would be to open a holistic studio that embraces the process of learning and each person’s diversity. Ms. Wilson wanted to pair up with a talented, positive educator who loved working with children, and Beth Deery was the best person she could think of collaborating with. Ms. Deery currently serves as an art teacher in DeKalb County and has an impressive 14+ year history of teaching in both the private and public sector. After much collaboration, the two developed the concept for Zone of Light Studio. The studio’s philosophy was based on making learning fun and interactive in a wide array of learning options and their love for children and the passion for their work shows!


ZOL recognized some necessary and desirable gaps that existed for parents and children in the Emory community and have been working hard to fill those gaps with high quality and innovative programming. Examples of some of the gaps they identified were educational and affordable full day programs that offered quality experience for children when schools were not in session, coverage for furlough and teacher work days and other days school was not in session. Many parents struggle to find quality options during this time. Other areas of interest to parents included fun nights out for kids (with and without their parents) and activities that stimulate and engage children’s thirst for learning beyond traditional ways offered in most school settings and hours.


ZOL instructors are all fully certified educators or graphic designers/artists who have written the curriculum focus for their own class. ZOL believes that when educators have the opportunity to share their special gifts with students, it should be taught through their eyes and with their talents in mind. The instructors are ever changing, according to the needs of the community and interest in the classes being offered.


Program Highlights:


Camps - One Day, Summer, Spring, Winter Break and Other DeKalb and Atlanta Public School Closure Days Come and play at the Zone this summer! The summer programs, which run from the Week of May 27-31 through the Week of August 5-9, have exciting themes and are led by a carefully selected team of Georgia certified teachers. Whether it is Medieval, Mythology, Recycling, Mad Scientist, Folk Art, or Patriotic week, students will take advantage of the exciting daily activities, art projects, reading and writing, videos, acting, and physical education games that will engage any child. Due to their low student/teacher ratio and their well thought out programs, the children are bound to learn, grow, and enjoy their experience. Check out their website for dates and descriptions of upcoming sessions and examples of work the kids have done so far.


ZOL will post additional days online as soon as the days for the 2013/2014 school year are confirmed with DeKalb County and Atlanta Public School.


Parents Night Out

Drop off your children for a “Kid's Art Night” on select Friday’s each month and enjoy a parents night out! A night out is from 6-9:30pm. Instructors will feed them dinner and have an art project that the children will have a blast working on with friends. Kids will have time to visit and play with others during their Fun Friday at the Zone. Children will enjoy playing board games (Mancala is a favorite right now) or reading, sketching, working on a puzzle, or dressing up! A movie is offered during the second portion of the evening, but many prefer to continue creating and playing during their night at Zone!


Saturday Nights are Adult Nights at ZOL!

Adults can have fun at the studio too! Sometimes it is nice to get away and try something completely different and unique. Zone of Light Studio prides itself on encouraging everyone to express their artistic self. No two art pieces will be the same and you should not plan to paint by numbers there. Bring your favorite food and drink and learn about a special technique and have an artist at the studio lead you to create your own original masterpiece. Past popular themes have included: Black Light Art, Stationary, Watercolors, White on White, Mandala Art, Georgia O’Keefe night and painting wine glasses.


Evening Classes

ZOL has offered evening classes for parents and their children together. Classes they have offered in the past have included creative writing, acting, Asian art, African art, mixed medium, cartooning, and sketchbook class. ZOL will continue to focus on the learning process (not the product). They believe in adults signing up to take classes with their children as a way to provide a common creative way for parents to engage with their children in something they can both share together - and not be seen as the disciplinarian in the process. Of course, there are many children who take the classes independently, and that is perfectly acceptable as well.


Special Events

Zone of Light has begun to host corporate and private events including but not limited to birthday parties. They do not have a standard list of what they offer so interested parties should reach out to Amy Wilson to see what innovations are possible.

As the studio continues to expand programming, they hope to offer classes in the fall that will embrace learning and imagination and reach an even more diverse audience. For more information about Zone of Light Studio:


Zone of Light Studio NE
1174 Zonolite Place
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
Amy Wilson, Founder and Executive Director