By James Davis, Education Program Manager
Welcome back from spring break! I hope you had a rejuvenating time away from school. I have spent the past couple of weeks catching up from a busy start to 2018, Kirsten took a well-deserved vacation and Amira has been preparing to start delivering our kindergarten and grade 1-2 programs in French. We are looking forward to what the final weeks of the term have in store.
In February we launched our new mentorship and support program for teachers in the Capital Region District. At each school we work with as a part of this pilot project, Kirsten leads workshops for two classes during the morning, and then spends the afternoon with the two teachers. She helps them build a strategy for taking their students outside more often for meaningful outdoor learning opportunities. These mentorship sessions have been very well received and we are excited to work with more schools in the coming weeks, including some that we have never visited before!
Another component of this program is a series of after-school gatherings for teachers. So far, we have hosted two gatherings and are gearing up for a third on April 25th at Rogers Elementary in Victoria. If you are a teacher in School District 61, 62 or 63 and are interested in connecting with others in the area who are passionate about outdoor learning, please join us. Lenny Ross will be our guest speaker this month and will be talking about nature education and connections with the new science curriculum. We are also happy that several local organizations that work to support nature-based learning will be on hand before the meeting from 3 to 4 pm to speak with teachers about the programming that they offer. Groups that will be represented include the Compost Education Centre, the Royal BC Museum, LifeCycles Project, Saanich Parks, the Robert Bateman Centre, World Fisheries Trust, WildBC and Peninsula Streams Society. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
In the midst of all of this, our Environmental Educators will be visiting schools across the province to facilitate our hands-on workshops. In addition to working with schools in the Greater Victoria area, Kirsten will be spending time in Port Alberni and Ucluelet this month and Amira will be busy delivering workshops in the Lower Mainland and Chilliwack. We have been working on some changes to our Climate & Place workshop for grade 6-8 students and Kirsten is excited to roll out the revised program in the next couple of weeks.
Good luck with the home stretch and thanks for all you do to help students get outside and learn!
Feature image by Brynne Morrice.