It was so exciting to see my former colleagues at Chippewa Nature Center's Nature Preschool (where I was the founding director) and the current research team I'm part of featured on this PBS Newshour piece! Click here to see the PBS NewsHour post including a full transcript. For more on this research check out my previous research blog post.
At the Nature-Based Preschool National Conference 2017 (Aug 2-5) in Seattle, WA I presented a research poster session. The poster presented work by a team including David Sobel of Antioch University, Dr. Lori Skibbe, Dr. Haruka Konishi, and me all of Michigan State University. Many at the conference expressed interest in having access to the poster for use in their work. So, here it is!
Please let me know if you have any questions. We will be working over the next several months to get this research into a journal article and (hopefully!) published soon after that. In the meantime, feel free to cite this poster.
If you're thinking of starting a nature-based preschool you might be interested in an article I recently wrote for the Natural Start Alliance's March Feature Story. My article "Program Considerations for Establishing a Nature Preschool" can be found here. You might also be interested in another article related to starting a preschool program which was written by my colleague and friend Dave Catlin. You can find his article titled "Getting Down to Business" here.
I hope both articles are useful for you--the world needs more nature-based preschools!
In January I led a webinar focused on developmentally appropriate practices for informal nature-based early childhood programs. This webinar was hosted by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and they have been very generous to share it publicly on YouTube. This webinar was made possible by the Disney Conservation Fund as part of the AZA's Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium Program. Thanks to AZA for this opportunity--it was a lot of fun!
I'm very excited to announce that Dave Catlin (David Catlin Consulting LLC) and I are joining forces to offer business planning consulting for organizations looking to start a nature-based preschool!
Dave and I each bring a unique set of skills to the table that make us an ideal team for assisting any organization looking to get into the nature-based preschool business. The services we will provide include all aspects of business planning--market assessments, strategic plan facilitation, architectural pre-planning, budgeting, and everything else required to get a preschool up and running.
As Dave said, "Nature centers, parks, zoos and individuals all over the country are joining a growing trend to get young children outdoors by creating nature-based preschools. Their confidence in the business side of things doesn’t always match their passion and enthusiasm, though. We aim to help with that."