Volunteer Position: Our Outdoors Group Creator
Free Forest School Blog
by Sarah Damian
2M ago
Are you interested in getting more involved with Free Forest School and comfortable managing content online? We’re currently looking for someone to manage the group creation process on Our Outdoors, our online community platform that connects 7000+ caregivers to nearby nature and each other. The Volunteer would be responsible for: Regularly checking for New Group and Group Host requests on Our Outdoors Reviewing each request to determine what actions need to be taken: creating a new group, adding a host to an existing group, making changes to existing groups, or otherwise assisting Our O ..read more
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Meet Our New Executive Director: Clarice Amorim Freitas
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
5M ago
Can you give folks a brief introduction to who you are? My name is Clarice Amorim Freitas! Yes, I have two last names (and used to have 4 before I got married). I was born and raised in Brazil and lived my entire childhood in Recife, a very large urban area. I moved to the U.S. to attend college in Kansas, stayed to pursue graduate school in Oregon, then met the man who is now my husband. We currently live in his home state of Alaska along with our two young children and two dogs. My favorite hobby is traveling, followed closely by photography, and I used to be a prolific writer in my younger ..read more
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Starting Outdoor Meetups: A Q&A with Two Parents
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
7M ago
We recently interviewed two community members about their experience creating outdoor meetups in their area. If you’ve ever felt a little intimidated to plan a meetup or even start your own group somewhere that doesn’t have an active one, know that other caregivers like you have been there. We hope the insights and tips below help inspire you to take that next step! Q1: Would you please introduce yourself?  Kerri: I’m Kerri Cohen. I live in Towson, Maryland right at the Baltimore city line. My two kids are almost 5 years old and 2.5 years old. I’ve been part of FFS since I started a group ..read more
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Camping with Kids
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
9M ago
By Emily Rybolt I did not grow up camping. As my daughter and I began spending more and more time outside, camping seemed like the next step. As a single mom, I was nervous and intimidated by the idea of taking my daughter camping for the first time alone, so when a friend invited my daughter (3.5 at the time) and I to join them on a camping trip, we decided to give it a try. I figured there would never be a time when we were 100% prepared so we just needed to get out there, and what better way than with someone there to guide us. I wasn’t sure how we would do since it was not only my daughte ..read more
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Executive Director: Call for Applications
Free Forest School Blog
by Elizabeth Corinth
10M ago
Job Title: Executive Director Posted Date: April 12 2022 Closing Date: May 16 2022 Pay Rate: $40 per hour Job Type: Part Time (20hrs/wk with the potential to expand as budget grows) Location: Remote / Work from Home Org. Location: Minneapolis, MN ABOUT THE POSITION Free Forest School, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit since 2017, is seeking a bold, enterprising leader to serve as our new Executive Director and enact our mission of nurturing kids and empowering adults by connecting to nature, culture and each other through outdoor play. Strong candidates will bring: a passion for the outdoors and ..read more
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Farewell and Thank You from Executive Director Anna Sharratt
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
10M ago
After working with Free Forest School over the past seven years, I am leaving my role to focus on raising another outdoor baby. I gave birth to my daughter this past November and am delighted to be spending my days exploring with her as my primary focus. The inspiration to start Free Forest School in 2015 came from watching my older children (then 4 and 1) play with other kids in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. I was fascinated to observe that children seemed wired to learn and grow in nature, and that caregivers could collectively create a rich early learning environment. It seemed like magic that ..read more
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A Young Refugee’s Journey Getting Comfortable Outdoors
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
11M ago
By Ellie White Lina moved with her family to Chicago from Iraq when she was eight years old. She notes that, when she moved, “everything was just so different and strange and bizarre [...] I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know anything about where I was. I was scared to do anything and everything.” After a horrible first day of school, Lina spent her time either at home or in class – she was lonely. Leaving the house, even with her family, made her feel uncomfortable. This experience of isolation and overwhelm is a reality for many kids and families who are re ..read more
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25 Picture Books That Center Black Characters in Nature
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
1y ago
Are you a caregiver or teacher looking for children’s books that have Black star characters AND feature outdoor play? The list below is a great place to start. For some tips on finding great books that the children in your life will love, the team over at Diverse Bookfinder offers a few recommendations about how to evaluate diverse and multicultural children’s books, including considering the creator’s personal experience. Of the 25 books below, the first 14 are #OwnVoices stories by Black authors and/or illustrators. #OwnVoices means that the creator shares an identity with the characters in ..read more
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Meet Them Where They Are
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
1y ago
By Katherine Meek “I don’t like being outside,” my son says to me. Not angrily, but as a matter of fact. While I appreciate his candor, it took me a challenging couple of years to accept his feelings about the outdoors. At one point, the vision was to settle in a rural area with carefree barefoot children running through the woods. We’re getting there... Our first child was born with sensory processing challenges. He didn’t willingly step a bare foot on the earth for quite some time. Now age seven, his apprehension about the outdoors has taught me important lessons. Fo ..read more
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How Your Support Sustains the Nature Play Movement
Free Forest School Blog
by Anna Sharratt
1y ago
Free Forest School began as a grassroots effort to bring parents and caregivers together with their kids to play outside. Now it’s become part of a larger cultural shift and movement, supporting experiences of magical connection with nature and community in more than 230 counties across 49 states, and growing. We need your support to sustain this nature play movement and ensure families in every neighborhood have access to outdoor play and the community support needed to make it a routine part of their lives. Your donations directly support our efforts to: Launch and maintain our community p ..read more
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