WRPA 2018 Annual Conference and Tradeshow

"Nature Preschool...Right for You?"


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Date/Time: Wednesday, May 2 | 3:00 - 4:15PM

Speakers: Michele Cardinaux, Metro Parks Tacoma & Jess Brewer, Metro Parks Tacoma

Category: Programming

Description: What is a nature preschool? Is a nature preschool right for your agency? How do you decide? How do you start one? As Washington state continues to see more and more nature preschools and moves towards offering a licensing option for these non-traditional preschools, more agencies are looking into this type of programming. This session will help you decide if it is a good option for you and give you the background and steps to ensure a smooth start-up should you choose to go that route.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what constitutes a nature preschool and what is currently happening in Washington state regarding licensing of such.

  • Evaluate whether a nature preschool should be added to your programming options.

  • Be provided a 10 step plan to outline how to launch a program.

Speaker: Michele has been the Tacoma Nature Center Supervisor since 2005. With a background in interpretation at county, state and federal parks throughout the west, and experience at other nature centers, residential outdoor schools, and a zoological facility, Michele is well positioned to lead the staff in educational, fun and innovative programming. In 2009 Michele expanded the Nature Center programming to include a nature preschool which has grown to serving 72 students a year and was recognized as a 2017 Washington State Green School Leader.

Jess Brewer Jess received her undergraduate degree in environmental education from Western Washington University and a master's degree in education from the University of Washington-Tacoma. She worked as an educator in a variety of settings over the past 14 years including as an environmental educator at a YMCA camp, a naturalist at a wildlife park, and a classroom teacher in University Place. Currently, she co-teaches the Tacoma Nature Center's all outdoor preschool section.

 Session Approved for .1 CEU Credits

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