What is environmental education in early childhood?
According to the North American Association for Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence, it includes “the development of a sense of wonder; appreciation for the beauty and mystery of the natural world; opportunities to experience the joy of closeness to nature; and respect for other creatures”.
You might find children “turning over rocks, following insects, stomping in puddles… . They are learning how to gently hold a worm, examine it, and then return it to its habitat.”
What is an urban nature school?
Sprouts is located in a residential neighborhood in the heart of Champaign, IL. A four-lane road runs nearby, a gas station is down the street, and the hustle and bustle of city life surround the property.
Sprouts also has a large play space full of natural materials, a variety of eco-systems and habitats, and wildlife visitors of many kinds.
Urban nature schools offer examples of how nature surrounds us all the time. Nature is not just a place to visit, not just mountains or oceans or jungles. Nature is everywhere and we can, and should, appreciate it, enjoy it, and conserve it in our everyday lives.
An urban nature school is an outdoor space - just like your own backyard or public park - to explore, learn, discover, and enjoy nature.
What is a micro-school?
A micro-school is a small consistent community of families. Sprouts has approximately fifteen families each school year with several sets of siblings. Sprouts has only two teachers and one substitute, small class sizes, and an overall small program meaning children form meaningful relationships with both peers and teachers.