Lincoln, NE, April 28, 2006 – The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation have opened up a new pathway in early childhood development. The dedication of the newly created Nature Explore Classroom will take place this Saturday at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure in Nebraska City, NE.
The Nature Explore Classroom is the first of its kind, allowing children to make important connections with nature at an early age, heightening their visual-spatial skills. Constructed from research-based designs from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, the classroom encourages an optimum level of learning in children ages 2-10, paying careful attention to the needs of all children including those with mental or physical challenges. The space and the activities unite children and nature while enhancing concentration, creativity and problem-solving, relieving stress, and improving skills in all areas of learning.
“We have created a wonderful outdoor space that will serve as a model for educators around the world.” said Susie Worth, National Arbor Day Foundation education director, “The purpose is to demonstrate research-based principles for using nature as an integral part of children’s learning.”
This innovative approach to learning has already achieved international acclaim for its evolutionary approach to childhood development. With society’s continuous shift toward a technological focus, children spend more and more time indoors, without the total sensory stimulation that nature provides. The amount of time a child spends connecting with nature has become paramount to their cognitive development, and the need for Nature Explore Classroom has arisen. Dimensions Educational Research Foundation discovered that, “Children who develop that fundamental connection with nature at an early age, tend to possess more curiosity and creativity, allowing them to learn quicker and with greater ease.”
Because of its immense importance for childhood development, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has organized a tour of the Nature Explore Classroom during their conference being held this weekend. They will tour the classroom in the hours before the classroom is to be dedicated. The dedication ceremony will take place at 2:00pm on Saturday, April 29, 2006, at the Nature Explore Classroom at the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure in Nebraska City, NE.
For more information on the dedication of Nature Explore Classroom or about The National Arbor Day Foundation, visit www.arborday.org or call (402) 474-5655.