North Central News

Kids explore studies, nature in outdoor class

Children enjoy painting—and some beautiful spring weather—as part of Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education’s “Nature Explore Classroom” (photo courtesy of Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education).

Children enjoy painting—and some beautiful spring weather—as part of Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education’s “Nature Explore Classroom” (photo courtesy of Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education).

Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education, located at 1118 W. Glendale Ave., has earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Beth El Center is the second site certified in the state of Arizona and now joins a growing network of organizations and institutions that have created effective nature-based outdoor learning environments for children.

“Our goal is to create a nurturing outdoor learning environment where nature becomes part of the children’s daily lives and inspires them to create new learning opportunities,” says Sari Topper-Romberg, director of the school.

Nature Explore Classrooms are part of the Nature Explore program (natureexplore.org), a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation developed in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature. Certified Nature Explore Classrooms help fill the void by integrating research-based outdoor learning opportunities into children’s daily lives.

“Beth El Center for Early Childhood Education has shown tremendous leadership in growing the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore Outreach director. “Their commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to educators throughout the country.”

The classroom offers interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden or pathway areas, and natural materials for building and creating art. Learn more about the school’s outdoor classroom at http://www.natureexplore.org/certified/BethElCenterforEarlyChildhoodEducation.cfm.

Beth El Center for Childhood Education strives to create an environment of comfort, security and a family-like atmosphere that integrates Jewish traditions and values into its daily programming. All faiths are welcome.

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