Students in Mrs. Barbara Law’s Child Care were part of a STEM activity and training in the “Growing Up WILD” program on January 5, 2016 conducted by Ms. Elaine Raesly and Mr. Corey Armstrong of the Evergreen Heritage Center in Allegany County.
"Growing Up WILD" (GUW) is an early childhood education program based on the nationally-recognized Project WILD curriculum. It is meant to build on the young child's sense of wonder about nature and wildlife and provide age-appropriate activities for positive interactions with the natural world. GUW builds lifelong learning skills and is correlated to national curriculum standards for early childhood education. Training workshops are coordinated through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and participants receive a curriculum book with 27 interdisciplinary activities.
Elaine Raesly, Director of Education Programs for the Evergreen Heritage Center (EHC), is a certified Facilitator for Project WILD and Growing Up WILD programs. The EHC, a nonprofit foundation located on a historical 130-acre property in Mount Savage, is dedicated to education, environmental conservation, and historic preservation. The EHC currently serves over 2,000 students per year for hands-on STEM and arts education programs, and also conducts educator professional development, arts programs, and summer camps. For more information about EHC or educational opportunities and programs visit http://www.evergreenheritagecenter.org.
Evergreen Heritage Center serves students from Head Start to college-age and in recent years has expanded the range of materials developed specifically for early childhood. According to Ms. Raesly, “I imagine that people are beginning to realize that young learners are particularly drawn to the natural world, and they are constantly doing their own inquiry-based learning! I really enjoy doing trainings for preservice teachers--I work a lot with FSU students and it was a natural fit when I discussed this option with Mrs Law. I realize that these students may not pursue further education after high school, or they may not end up in a place where this training is available so easily. I'm also a certified secondary biology teacher, and I appreciate solid, standards-based curriculum (especially when it's as fun and hands-on as this is!)”.
Evergreen staff plan to coordinate a visit with Mrs Law's Northern students as well during her spring semester of instruction at NHS.
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