The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center will introduce the community to the innovative and revolutionary concept of nature-based, emergent learning with the first nature preschool in east Alabama. Classes start at the newly established Woodland Wonders Nature Preschool Aug. 20 and registration goes live Thursday, April 25. With only 12 slots in its first year, the preschool is expected to fill up quickly.
“You may have heard of the nature preschool concept, a movement in innovative, child-led education sweeping across the United States,” said Michael Buckman of the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center. “The idea was first put to practice in Scandinavian countries over a decade ago but is only now beginning to take hold in the U.S.”
Today, there are estimated to be over 250 nature preschools across the country educating over 10,000 students annually.
Woodland Wonders, like all nature preschools, has one foundational principle to its organization: nature. All learning is done with and through nature, embracing the great outdoors as a classroom. Students will explore and uncover knowledge while immersed in the natural environment of the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center. Every rain puddle, butterfly, pine tree and blade of grass has stories to tell and lessons to be learned.
Woodland Wonders Nature Preschool is guided by an emergent curriculum which supports children’s individual interests and voices while incorporating developmentally appropriate strategies through play-based and explorative activities. This innovative approach to education has been proven to support the child’s whole development including increased attention, self-discipline, physical activity and motivation. All domains of growth are engaged and activated including cognitive, physical, social, emotional, aesthetic and spiritual…and all are paired with a strong environmental ethic.
“The importance of environmental awareness cannot be overstated as the human species is facing its biggest challenge thus far,” Buckman said. “Yet, more and more children are growing up without that critical environmental literacy. Woodland Wonders aims to change that trend and ensure that its students start their lives with our precious and delicate environment in the forefront of their thoughts and aspirations.”
Woodland Wonders’ classes are 8 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 20, 2019, through May 14, 2020. Accommodations can be made for early drop off or late pickup if needed. Tuition can be paid up front or in monthly installments. To register, or for more detailed information about nature preschool and the Woodland Wonders philosophy, visit the website, aub.ie/woodlandwonders. Registration opens this Thursday, April 25.
This is the first year for Woodland Wonders Nature Preschool in Auburn. Plans include adding more students, more days per week and more hours per day for the 2020-21 school year.
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College St., Auburn.
Originally published April 24th, 2019.
(Written by Michael Buckman)