The Nature Explore Classroom at Westiminster Presbyterian Church Preschool
Westminster Presbyterian Church Preschool is celebrating their 4th year as a certified Nature Explore Classroom.
While committed to increasing and enhancing childrenâ€™s time spent outside and their connection to nature, Northminster has witnessed a transformation in their children in the areas of engagement, independence, motivation, creativity and thinking skills.
During the past year, Director, Judy Hightower and three teachers completed the Outdoor Specialist 1 and Outdoor Specialist 2 training with the Outdoor Classroom Project under Eric Nelson of Child Educational Center. Judy Hightower and Sue Davis, Outdoor Classroom Specialist, serve the project on the steering committee and as trainers. Westminster is now a demonstration site and has hosted trainings and given dozens of tours to teachers and directors from other schools.
This year the three year old classes have parents drop off their children on the playground. This has allowed for parents to linger and explore with their children. It has also allowed the outdoor classroom teachers an opportunity for conversations about the program. Parent toddler classes also offer an opportunity for parents to experience the Nature Explore Classroom.
Areas of the outdoor classroom have continued to expanded this year and to provide children with ways to use their imagination, engage in a multitude of different activities and connect with nature and each other.