Registrations for this year’s programming season have been completed. Below is an overview of our plans for the 2019 season, which we plan to open for enrollment in early November. We hope you will join us for another year of #GROWth and learning!
The goals of this program are to:
Build student confidence in nature through positive experiences, active education, and collaborative outdoor play
Support student knowledge in the areas of ecology, conservation, and permaculture farming
Strengthen a sense community belonging through regular parent involvement and the fostering of positive social relationships
Inspire a love of nature that translates to action as our students look for ways to help care for their local public parks and greenspaces
In the 2019 season, we will continue to work towards these core educational goals, while also expanding our program offerings. Although we will continue to meet on Mondays for this program, the 2019 season will have two terms instead of monthly registrations. This change will allow our students a greater opportunity to get to know other students in the program, thereby fulfilling our goals for community development. The terms will be as follows:
Spring 2019 - April, May, & June
Fall 2019 - August, Septmember, & October
Additionally, we are happy to announce that we will be able to divide our growing student population into the following three sub-programs in order to better meet their developmental needs:
Pre-k (age 3 and 4) through 1st grade
This multi-age program will be closely modeled after the forest schools in Europe. Students will explore the natural ares of the park and forests, take discovery hikes, and self direct their own activities to a large degree. We have intentionally kept our 5 and 6 year olds with this grouping so that they have the opportunity to share their knowledge with younger students entering GROW’s program. Our hope is that this will help them aquire early leadership skills while stregthening thier sense of place in the GROW community. As younger students look up to them, they will be the “big kids” who know where to build the best forts, where to find the best fruits, and which trees are best for climbing!
*Children ages 3 and 4 will require a parent or other guardian to attend class with them, while students ages 5 and 6 will be elligible to be dropped off if they are ready. We hope that by age 6 most students will achieve the independence and confidence in nature necessary to attend class on their own but we recognize that all children develop at varrying paces.
Elementary Grades 2, 3, and 4
Our educational goals for this age group revolve heavily around constructing a foundational understanding of ecosystems and their interconnectedness. We’ll learn all about life cycles, habitats, systems, and the basic principles of Permaculture (Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share) while exploring, observing, and discovering new wonders each day we come together! We will also work closely with this group on interpersonal relational skills such as leadership, conflict resolution and peacemaking, teamwork, and building an inclusive community.
Middle School Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8
We are extremely excited to announce this new expansion to our our program! Educational goals for this age group will center around translating their foundational environmental knowledge into practice. The work of this age group will include practicing wilderness skills such as hiking, wayfinding, trailbuilding, constructing emergency shelters, locating and purifying water, administering emergency first aid, and more! This age group will also work on permaculture systems management goals within the larger scope of the GROW project mission. This would include activities such as forest conservation, assessing and monitoring system health, tree care, and working directly with GROW’s new herd of goats! As with our other program groups we will also include leadership skills, conflict resolution practices, and collaborative project-based learning elements.
Parents enrolling a student in our Naturalist programs are asked to volunteer as program helpers at least once per month. This is a key aspect of the program which serves many functions. In addition to helping us keep the cost of our program low while providing ample adult supervision, this participation more importantly provides the means for us build a sense of community. By volunteering once a month, you'll be able to connect with other families in the program on a deeper level and, in turn, become more connected to the larger GROW community.
Parent volunteers assist in various ways depending on the program. Tasks might include helping students on the hike, assisting them in a simple gardening task, and providing supervision for free-choice nature time. Each of these activities offers you an opportunity to expand your own knowledge and skillset while also having fun with your child. Thank you in advance for your participation in this parent-involved model for our program.