Board Members f
the Nature Preschool at
Heart Centered Multi-Age attend Conference.
Nature Preschool Board Members; Krystal Alpers, Jennifer MacDonald, Jenne Walker, Deanna Pellegrino and Dorcas Gordon.
University in Keene
ing to support educator
in the acquisition of new skills
, the opportunity
collaborate with each other,
ffirmation for the work they do
"In Bloom in Keene" conference
dedicated to the educational and health benefits of children being in the natural world
could not have been scheduled
a more beautiful spring day
Jennifer MacDonald, Deanna Pellegrino, and
Nature Preschool at Heart Centered Multi- Age in Bristol attended
Speakers included David
, Professor at Antioch Univer
sity and author of
Nature Preschool and Forest Kindergartens: The Handbook for Outdoor Learning
, and Angela Hanscom
, pediatric therapist and founder of
, an internationally recognized program in the United States and New Zealand. Angela is also the author of
Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
. Board members also attend workshops on the benefits of nature based programs for children with spatial awareness and sensory difficulties.
discussed her body of work, noting that through
research and observation at local schools,
has found today's children are noticeably weaker and their balance systems significantly underdeveloped as compared to children of previous generation
has also found that teachers report today's children becoming more aggressive on the playground and having trouble staying in their seats.
Today many children need occupational therapy and only a few of them play outdoors on a regular basis. Hanscom believes that through regular outside time and opportunities for free creative play, many of these symptoms can be alleviated.
Young children are not developmentally wired for the demands placed upon them in many traditional school settings. The high stak
es testing of the last decade have
left young children without time to develop in age appropriate settings. The benefits of free play and recess have been marginalized as more time was required for inside school work. Many children across the country only see
- 30 minutes of uninterrupted recess time per day.
Jennifer MacDonald, founder and director at Heart Centered Multi-Age says, "It is affirming to spend time with colleagues who believe in the causes that are dear to your heart. It has been my mission since opening Heart Centered Multi-Age in 2011 to provide children of the Newfound area a place to learn and grow that would meet their developmental needs. Children at Heart Centered Multi-Age spend a minimum of an hour a day outside with a typical day in the spring and fall featuring 2 hours of outside time. I have always found the children make just as many gains outside as inside. Confidence found learning to do the monkey bars or skiing from the top of Ragged Mountain always translates into the classroom, where I see motivated and determined learners. Children at Heart Centered Multi-Age always leave our program on or above grade level academically with their passion of learning intact. I believe our success is directly connected to the amount of time our children spend outside, whether in recess play or hiking, skiing or exploring at Little Round Top."
Board members from The Nature Preschool at Heart Centered Multi-Age attend
the "In Bloom in Keene" conference
as part of the
a new and exciting program collaboration between
Heart Centered Multi-Age
the Slim Baker Foundation for Outdoor Education
The Slim Baker Lodge
and its surrounding area will
be the primary location for a nature based classroom for
three year olds that will be opening in the fall of 2016.
This partnership between Heart Centered Multi-Age and the Slim Baker
Foundation will help further the mission of providing outdoor education to the community through the Slim Baker Foundation.
If you would like more information on any of the programs offered by Heart Centered Multi-Age or the Slim Baker Foundation, please look them up at