This seasonal series is packed with practical approaches to help teachers take learning outside. Join experienced practitioners during this inspiring (and useful!) virtual series. Classes will meet on the third Mondays from 6:30-8:00 pm EST, dates include September 20th, October 18th, and November 15th. Read on for detailed descriptions of each session. A professional development certificate will be awarded at the conclusion of the series.
Monday, September 20th from 6:30-8 PM (EST)
Co-Creating Learning Environments with Parents, Children, and Teachers
Presented by Lesley Romanoff, Tacoma Park Cooperative Nursery School
We will learn how to partner with stakeholders, including children’s grown-ups, community leaders and neighbors, and the children themselves, in co-creating outdoor experiences. We will explore ways to help all embrace risk benefit, find common ground, how to seek out playful environments, and how to communicate needs and benefits. We will brainstorm opportunities for sustaining culturally-inclusive practices based on participants’ own experiences and locations.
Monday, October 18th from 6:30-8 PM (EST)
Presented by Joanne Whitney, Banyan Bambini and The Mangrove
What happens when we hold space for children to just "be" in nature? When we give children the time to explore the outdoors without an adult agenda or materials, magical things can happen. We will hear the story of how one classroom used this time they came to call "beautiful nothing" and how educators can still document learning and prove that time outside without facilitation is valuable.
Monday, November 15th from 6:30-8 PM (EST)
Utilizing Multicultural Strategies and Tools to Transform Your Programs
Presented by Ashley Brailsford, PhD, Our Joyful Learning Community
This session will provide an overview of multicultural strategies that can be used to transform your nature-based programs to be more inclusive. Examples will be shared that have been implemented in a culturally-grounded nature-based program for families.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
This course is ideal for anyone who facilitates nature-based education and outdoor learning, which may include: teachers and administrators in preschool, childcare, or elementary school settings; naturalists, environmental educators, or outdoor educators; wilderness survival enthusiasts; and parents.
MEET YOUR PRESENTERS
Lesley Romanoff, Tacoma Park Cooperative Nursery School
Lesley Romanoff teaches and learns alongside children and their families of Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School. With 75-years of cooperative learning under our belt, COVID-19 changed our program for the better. We are now all outdoors in an urban setting. We still seek out wonder and creativity and have learned so much over the past year about ourselves, about our program, and about our place in the community
Ashley Brailsford, PhD, Our Joyful Learning Community
Ashley Brailsford, PhD is a long-time educator and nature enthusiast who launched Our Joyful Learning Community to help nature-connected organizations transform their programs to be more culturally relevant and inclusive by honoring culture, exploring well-being and inspiring joy. She began her teaching career as an elementary Montessori teacher before becoming an early childhood professor. While working in higher education and later as a non-profit director of family literacy programs across the country, much of her teaching and research interests were grounded in family engagement and building trust in culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse communities. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her seven year old son exploring parks, gardening, and anything near a body of water.
*If you are unable to make a session, don't worry! We will record each session to share with all registered individuals.