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  • Extending the Magic: Forest and Nature School for the Elementary Years

Extending the Magic: Forest and Nature School for the Elementary Years

  • Tuesday, June 07, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online


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As nature preschools and forest kindergartens grow in popularity, many families find themselves asking, as their children grow and graduate, what next? At age five or six, children leave the magical world of outdoor preschools to spend most of the day indoors in school. Time outside usually equates to regulated activity on a fixed structure playground. However, on teacher workdays and after school parents are desperate for enrichment activities. Enrichment programming does not usually fall under the same regulatory mandates as child-care or private schools requiring a license or building to operate. Many schools, even in urban areas, are near public open/green space such as town or county parklands. Together, this creates an opportunity to extend the magic of early years nature schooling to school-age children.

Join Forest Explorers Director Shannon Earle for a presentation, discussion and Q&A about the forest school model for elementary age children. How can we extend the magic of nature-based learning and play to more families? What's different about forest school for older children? What might you need to know to get started in creating a program in your community?


After teaching Forest Kindergarten at the Audubon Naturalist Society for four years, in 2020 Shannon Earle started Forest Explorers, LLC, which provides all outdoor after school and homeschool classes in an urban woodland in Takoma Park, Maryland. Almost 100 children participate in Forest Explorers programs each year. Shannon's career has included managing an education and training program for Conservation International, developing hands-on science curricula for families, coordinating a network of environmental education (EE) practitioners for the NC Office of EE, managing an EE program for a community forest reserve in Costa Rica and delivering interpretive programs as a ranger in Canyonlands National Park. She's also an author, mother of three, and in her spare time, loves foraging, gardening, cooking, camping and traveling.

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