Hands-on learning for elementary school children.
The Nature Program offers monthly natural science workshops in communities in Vermont and neighboring states for adult volunteers eager to share nearby nature with school children. Each workshop includes natural science information, a variety of hands-on learning activities, plus plenty of joy and wonder. With over 40 lessons, we divide our program into five year-long courses of study, each focusing on a different key science standard.
Four Winds programs are designed to get kids and adults outdoors connecting and learning about nature. This year, we will continue to offer Nature Program All Out – modified for all-outdoors instruction. In this model, Four Winds educators meet volunteers outdoors for training workshops and teams of two or more volunteers meet classrooms of children outside each month to look, discover, and learn.
With Covid protocols changing in schools, we anticipate that volunteers will be welcomed indoors. To accommodate this change, we will also offer our traditional model of the Nature Program with lessons taught in the classroom as well as outdoors on the school grounds.
Each school has two Volunteer Coordinators who act as the liaison between the education staff at Four Winds and the volunteers, teachers, school administrators, and the community at large. Enrollment in the Nature Program or Nature Program All Out includes training workshops for volunteers, teaching materials, and password access to online resources, including Nearby Nature from Home for in-class or at-home extensions of volunteer-led lessons.
It is the dedication of volunteers – their time and energy – that makes these programs happen. The role of coordinators and volunteers will be a bit different this year as we take the Nature Program all outside and extend the learning at home. Happily, we’re still be able to share the excitement of nature discovery with children and come together as a community of learners.