Annual Report: An Overview
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
4d ago
Written by Abigail Gierke, ERAFANS Grants & Development Associate An annual report documents what an organization has accomplished in the most recent year, plans for the future, and the financial underpinnings that make it all possible. It helps organizations build trust, celebrate successes and major accomplishments, acknowledge donor and volunteer support, and helps readers understand a mission. In our case, we want to connect with you—our supporters—the lifeblood of our organization. Through our annual report, we hope you’ll get a better sense of what we do and why your support matters ..read more
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Responding to the Call of Nature: Nature-Based Teacher Certification Reflection
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
4d ago
Written by Heather Rose Artushin, NBTC Participant The cold Michigan winters foster a hibernation culture that is undeniable - apart from the occasional trip to the lake or picnic at the park, much of my childhood was spent indoors. It wasn’t all bad. I fell in love with books and became a voracious reader. I made plenty of precious memories baking cookies with my mom and watching movies with my dad. We played board games and tinkered with projects. But when I moved south with my husband and 8-month-old son, making a home among the palm trees and mossy oaks in Charleston, South Carolina, I kne ..read more
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Lighting the Dark with Song and Sharing at Winter Solstice
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
1M ago
Written by McCadden/Honey Sweet Harmony As we in the Northern Hemisphere experience the shortening of days leading up to this year’s longest night on December 21, 2022, we may notice ourselves and the children in our programs naturally expressing less active outward focused energy, instead shifting towards a more diffuse, inward focus.  Last year we offered a post with some wonderful ideas for weaving your own Winter Solstice traditions, including crafts and stories. Below are some additional suggestions for ways you can honor the Solstice and cold season’s energetic qualities in your act ..read more
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Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Month as Invitations, Part I
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
2M ago
As a hub for conversations among educators, ERAFANS has been approached by many of you asking for help finding alternative ways to acknowledge the Thanksgiving holiday in your classrooms and programs. While responding to this need, we begin this blog post with a blanket of apology: recognizing that we are in the very earliest stages of starting to address the harms done by a long global history of colonization, with ongoing oppression of BIPOC and other marginalized communities. We cannot hope to dismantle the legacy of such complex and often unacknowledged harm through a single post or holida ..read more
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Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Month as Invitations, Part II
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
2M ago
Deepening Our Awareness of Local Indigenous Cultures and History, Avoiding the “Ethnographic Present,” and Initiating Indigenous Connections Here and Now In our language and visual imagery, it is important to avoid speaking or presenting Indigenous peoples as if they only existed in the past, or as if they continue to exist in ways that were true long ago. Whether considering a story, worksheet, video, or other educational materials, it is good practice to keep an eye and ear out for such representation. As a rule, avoid depictions and activities related to generic “historical” “Indian” clothi ..read more
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Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Month as Invitations, Part III
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Emily Woodmansee
2M ago
Songs of Ancestors: a selection from the Honey Sweet Harmony Song Grove Ancestors Roots: From the album The Wild Fears We Tame by Mica Whitney and Graham Remocaldo of Swamp Trees in Richmond, VA. They are singer/songwriters and farmers. All of my ancestors live within me (lead/soloist then repeats “within me” 2 more times, while group starts to repeat “within me, within me...” until the next repeat phrase beings) Within me I can feel a spirit rising (“rising” follows same repetition pattern) Rising up above to where the birds sing (“the birds sing”) The birds sing their songs to the stars at n ..read more
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Welcoming the Light this Winter Solstice
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Monica Wiedel-Lubinski
2M ago
On this, the shortest day of the year, we welcome the return of the light. Autumn officially turns to winter today, December 21.  In winter (and in all seasons), forest and nature schools participate in experiences that honor and respect nature. During the Yuletide season, we revel in all that winter heralds and find ways to beckon back the light. Indigenous and global traditions vary widely, but the ideas below may help inspire new traditions in your forest school community. Yule Logs Use plentiful fire wood and evergreens such as pine, juniper, holly, cedar, or fir boughs to create a yu ..read more
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Nature-Based Learning : A French Perspective
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by
2M ago
By: Laura Nicolas,https://mapetiteforet.fr and Sologna Nature and Culture http://sologna.fr Nature-Based Learning, Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Education, Forest School Education…the English speaking world offers rich examples of nature-based educational trends ! What about France? A progressive shift from traditional French teaching pedagogies As a French educator and researcher, I cannot find here, in France, any equivalent of the materials created by my British and North American colleagues. Nevertheless, several recent books have been written in French in the last five years that addr ..read more
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Lovingkindness Meditation
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Monica Wiedel-Lubinski
2M ago
There are many ways to express gratitude, and gratitude routines are at the heart of forest and nature school programs. Try this LovingKindness Meditation (temp).pdf with children you love. It is a calming, gentle way to focus positive energy towards others. Teachers, parents, and children alike will enjoy sharing lovingkindess as part of their mindful practice, which encourages feelings of gratitude, compassion, and empathy ..read more
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Leaving Four Walls Behind in the Age of COVID-19
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Blog
by Monica Wiedel-Lubinski
2M ago
Written by: Kai Dickinson, Ellis Hollow Nursery School I have always been drawn to outdoor learning where the natural world invites children to experience serendipitous and endless child centered play. I was one of those children; catching frogs while muddying up long dresses, sticky summer days splashing in Skaneateles Lake, picking  grapes that exploded sweetness from the ripe fall sun. I was that child in the dead winter freeze who never wanted to come in for supper because I was too busy catching a feast of snowflakes on my tongue. Today the nature deficit saddens me; where are o ..read more
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