About us

Our Name

The name “Alvarium” developed over the course of discussions around our family dinner table. We wanted a name that embodied the richness, warmth, discovery, and security we hope our center will hold for people.

“Alvarium” is Latin for “beehive.” A beehive seems like a good representation of our center because beehives play a similar role to the one we hope our learning center will play in our community. First of all, the beehive is where bees store honey, and we have often seen honey compared to learning. Both honey and learning can require great energy and daring to get, and yet they are oh-so-sweet once you have them! So a place where people gather knowledge and learning is already a little like a place where bees store honey.

We soon realized, however, that the parallels run deeper than that. There are lots of sweet things we hope to keep in our center that could be compared to honey. Stories, for example—good, rich, wonderful stories. Experiences built day by day into a reservoir of laughter and achievement. And of course, the children themselves. The children are the most important element of what we do. This is another way that our center is like a beehive. Even for the bees, it may seem like it is all about honey, but it is really all about the children. The bees keep their young in small hexagon-shaped cells much like the cells where they keep honey, and they nourish their young on the honey they make. When the bees aren’t making honey, they are cleaning the cells for their young, feeding their young, or exploring to bring back more nectar to make into more honey to feed to their young. Our hope for Alvarium Learning Center is that the experiences it has to offer will also nourish children and their families.

Since choosing the name for our center, we have worked to find a logo that captures some of the similarities we see between the hive and the center. The connection between knowledge and honey is one example, and the community effort to provide a fundamental sweetness that can support children as they grow is another. As we sketched and brainstormed, two images especially appealed to us. One is a honeycomb made of grouped hexagons with a collection of children gathered around them, playing. We like this image because the many separate hexagons coming together into one shape suggests how the efforts of many separate people in the community can come together to create one place of learning and growth. The addition of the children around the honeycomb seems fitting because it reminds us of what our honey is: Knowledge and nurture, as well as who it is for: The children.

The other image is the Alvarium flower. This image highlights that the honey is ultimately found in the flowers from which the bees take nectar. This seems meaningful because, just as the preservation of honey depends on the cultivation of flowers, so also the preservation of knowledge, memory, and hope depends on the cultivation of children.