Forest Days is a chance for public school teachers and children to shed the four walls of the classroom and head outside for immersive, hands-on learning. Each week, in all kinds of weather, children venture into the forest for sensory-rich inquiry that only nature can provide.
Expanding! During our pilot year in 2018-2019, we delivered Forest Days to two kindergarten classes in a Philadelphia public school for 54 children and 4 teachers. This year we are expanding Forest Days to provide access for even more teachers and children -- but we need your help!
All children benefit from nature connection. They need fresh air, time, and freedom to explore nature. Your support makes it possible for 60 more children to learn in the “forest classroom” every week in the coming year. Each contribution helps grow another child’s lasting relationship with nature.
Forest Days goes deeper than just a field trip. We take children outside every week, all year long. We are inspired by the forest kindergartens that were born in Europe and are now a worldwide movement.
Access to nature is essential to healthy growth and child development. Research shows that children learn best when they are afforded the freedom of movement, choice, and fresh air that the forest provides. Forest Days helps teachers put research in action by offering meaningful outdoor education every week as part of the school day.
Nature connection should not be a privilege, but a right. While many nature-based preschools and forest kindergarten programs are sprouting up in the US, almost all of them are private, tuition-based programs. In Philadelphia, one of the greenest cities in our country, there are no immersive forest school programs for children in public schools. By sharing nature with kids from urban public schools, Forest Days brings access and equity to the outdoor classroom.
Forest Days provides ongoing nature-based professional development to public school educators. We work directly with children outdoors, and equally with teachers to provide intensive professional development. As a result, Forest Days leaves a lasting impact on the quality of public school education. Teachers are empowered to lead weekly Forest Days classes, which helps establish a sustainable nature-based approach to curriculum.
Hear what these Forest Days' parents have to say about our pilot year:
“I think forest school is amazing. Children need this. They need to be out doing things instead of just being confined to a classroom. They get to explore the world and learn things on their own.” - Forest Days father
“Forest Days gives children the ability to get their energy out in a productive way and in a safe environment. I believe children need a space to release energy in order to be calm when back in their classrooms.” -Forest Days father
“It is so good for them to be outside in the green, and just smell it, taking in the fresh air. It’s so good for them.” - Forest Days grandfather
“I think Forest Day should be a part of all inner city schools.” - Forest Days mother
By raising $18,000, Forest Days can continue at our pilot Title 1 elementary school in Philadelphia and support expansion into other schools in 2019-2020. With your help, Forest Days will can increase direct outdoor learning from 54 children to 114 children, and provide intensive professional development to their teachers.
Every gift makes a difference! Here’s what your gift can do:
$220 brings Forest Days to one child for the entire school year
$150 purchases five “muddy buddy” water proof suits to keep 5 kids warm and dry!
$30 purchases one “muddy buddy” suit to keep one child warm and dry!
Forest Days is a project of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools. ERAFANS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides nature-based training, services, and support to educators, childcare providers, and administrators as they help children connect with our natural world. ERAFANS programs empower educators and school leaders to develop and facilitate meaningful, nature-based experiences and re-frame existing curricula to include playful outdoor learning opportunities. You can learn more at www.ERAFANS.org/forest-days
Fundraising team (2)
Raised $4,639 from 47 donations
Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools Inc