Our curriculum is based on several schools of thought including total nature immersion, interest-led flow learning, emergent curriculum, place-based focus, inquiry based focus, and authentic play as developed by internationally acclaimed Forest Kindergarten teacher Erin Kenny. Many of the teaching strategies used are adapted from Wilderness Awareness School's approach to mentoring children in nature. In addition, other lessons are based on the Council for Environmental Education curriculum, Growing Up WILD, which offers opportunities that are individually, socially and culturally appropriate. Growing up WILD is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children Standards and Head Start Domains.
The Lead Instructor, Brenda Running, is a certified Forest School Teacher, a Native Plant Steward with the Washington Native Plant Society and a Master Naturalist. She's also been trained in Outdoor Leadership with Washington Trails Association and the Art of Mentoring Children in Nature at Wilderness Awareness School. She has 13 years of experience working with children in outdoor educational settings . She is Wilderness First Aid certified, in addition to Adults and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED for Adults & Pediatric. All staff members have cleared criminal background checks. Brenda is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Her background includes literacy intervention, working with children with special needs as well as a Family Advocate. Our co-teachers have strong outdoor skills and years of experience working with young children.
Nature Nut Hut
Children are invited to use any of our authentic naturalist tools and equipment such as binoculars, butterfly nets, plant presses and magnifying glasses. We also have an extensive collection of Native American and nature artifacts which children are encouraged to explore with all their senses including feathers, cones, rocks, animal furs, bones, nests, skulls, etc.