The Jane Wallerstein Children & Nature Project

Description

With a generous $250,000 gift, the Wallerstein Collaborative launched the Jane Wallerstein Children & Nature Project in 2012. Our goal is to provide outdoor educational experiences and engaging, nature-based curricula for students in grades K - 6. Students apply concepts taught in the classroom by our Children & Nature educators to experiential projects, along with field trips to local natural areas like the New York Botanical Gardens, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inwood Park, and others. By helping youth to explore the natural world in their neighborhoods and beyond, Children & Nature is provides hands-on environmental education and fosters environmental stewards for tomorrow.

Programming

The Children & Nature Project consists of three components: a pre-trip visit, a field trip, and a follow-up project developed by classroom teachers to connect children to nature.

During the pre-trip visit, a Children & Nature educator will visit the classroom to provide 2-3 hands-on activities to introduce students to environmental topics which support curriculum standards.  Interdisciplinary activities focus on local ecology and are modified to suit grade level and connections to classroom curriculum.

Then, working with each class, we arrange for an all-day field trip to a garden, forest, farm or other related green space within the five boroughs. Traditional on-site programming is coupled with a creative exploration session led by the Children & Nature educator, including nature journaling and a guided hike.

Teachers and students choose a follow-up project to complete back in their school or community to continue connecting children to nature. Participants can create a project of their own design or choose from a list of suggested  Children & Nature activities, including planting an herb box, starting a worm compost bin, or working in a local community garden.  Support for launching and documenting a project is provided  by Children & Nature educators.

Participating teachers attend an all day professional development workshop at the beginning of the school year. 

Children and Nature 2014 ebook
Participating Schools

Year

School

Location

2012-13

PS 15

Red Hook, Brooklyn

PS 186X

Morrisania, Bronx

PS 111

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

PS 112

East Harlem, Manhattan

PS 175

Harlem, Manhattan

Good Shepherd

Inwood, Manhattan

 

2013-14

PS 15

Red Hook, Brooklyn

PS 186X

Morrisania, Bronx

PS 178

Inwood, Manhattan

PS 730X

Hunt’s Point, Bronx

 

2014-15

 

PS 15

Red Hook, Brooklyn

PS 186X

Morrisania, Bronx

PS 178

Inwood, Manhattan

PS 730x

Hunt’s Point, Bronx

PS 110

Greenpoint, Brooklyn