Nebraska City, Neb. (June 12, 2012) – Discovery Child Care Centre of Barrie, Ontario, is Canada's first Nature Explore Classroom after receiving the designation from the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
Discovery Child Care Centre (www.discoverychild.on.ca) will join a growing network of organizations and institutions in developing research-based outdoor learning opportunities for children.
The program is already changing children's lives by improving problem-solving and concentration, broadening cognitive and social skills and relieving stress through unstructured exposure to learning in nature.
Participation in Nature Explore includes required workshops for educators and designers and access to a sourcebook outlining field-tested activities and components. Many participating institutions also receive on-site design consultations.
"By becoming Canada's first Nature Explore classroom, Discovery Child Care Centre is setting a wonderful example for other learning institutions and organizations throughout the country," said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore outreach director for the Arbor Day Foundation. "Everyone at Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation appreciates the commitment Discovery Child Care Centre has made to providing nature education opportunities for young children."
Outdoor classrooms that are designed according to principles described in the Dimensions Foundation's Learning With Nature Idea Book are eligible to become certified Nature Explore Classrooms. In a certified Nature Explore Classroom, children can create visual masterpieces in a nature art area, build with natural materials, climb on natural structures and practice their balance, agility and creativity in areas designed for music and movement.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter or our blog.
About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation: Dimensions Educational Research Foundation was formed in 1998 to study how science, math and literacy learning can be enhanced by the addition of more visual-spatial activities into classrooms and homes. For a number of years, the Foundation has conducted and collected research on how children best develop visual-spatial skills and how teachers and families can optimally support this development. Dimensions Educational Research Foundation's goal is to create and deliver unique educational programming to 1) Help people better understand and appreciate the natural world by developing visual-spatial skills; and 2) Improve science, math and literacy learning through visual-spatial skills.