We are currently delivering a third year of nature programming to the Haggerty Preschool in West Cambridge (2018-19), are in our second year at the Peabody School's integrated Special Start preschool classroom, and hope to introduce a third program to another district preschool by the spring of 2019. Our model involves pairing a nature educator with the class to explore the local environment, including observing neighborhood wildlife and flora, experiments with seeds and schoolyard plantings, as well as excursions to rich urban green spaces such as Fresh Pond, Alewife Brook Reservation, and Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
In May and June 2018, in partnership with Lesley University's WonderLab, we launched a series of pilot field trips to Fresh Pond Reservation and Mt. Auburn Cemetery for several local pre-K, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten classrooms. Our goal is to create a series of fun and interesting learning opportunities in these spaces that would grow across the arc of the school year and, importantly, that would enhance and animate curriculum-based learning. In the 2018-19 we hope to pilot programs for 1st grade classrooms.
Out of School Time programs
We are currently working to try and bring more rich and engaging after school programs to our city's green spaces. While many exist as part of the city's Community Schools and key partners such as Navigation Games, Mass Audubon and Farrington Nature Linc, we believe that longer and more immersive experiences - modelled on Forest Schools that are now a mainstay in Northern Europe and the Pacific Northwest U.S. - are ripe for conversion to Cambridge's urban wilds.