Thursday, May 14, was the Keller Williams RED day, a day for all of their staff to offer service to the communities where they live in honor of the founder's birthday. This year Wake County Smart Start coordinated at least 80 volunteers who provided volunteer effort to all 8 POD-Wake Demonstration Childcare Centers. Natural Learning Initiative Staff joined the fun, helping to direct the planting of trees and shrubs and further renovations to the Outdoor Learning Environments at these sites. Learn more in this News and Observer article about the day.
The 8th Annual Growing IN Place Symposium was held March 5, 2015 at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC. This years theme, Green Neighborhood Assets: Streets, Houses, Schools, Parks, Food, addressed planning and design policies that support the need for an urban public realm designed to support culturally diverse, socially stimulating, healthy lifestyles. Visit the Growing IN Place page to access the recorded presentations from the event.
This year's ECPAI will be held June 1 - 3 at the Mables Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC. Join Be Active Kids and Dr. Diane Craft of Active Play Books in this physical activity training for childcare providers, preschool teachers, and others who interact with large gropus of young children on a regular basis. Registration opens April 15 and is limited to 15 participants. Find more informaiton here.
OPENspace, the research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments, hosts Robin Moore and Nilda Cosco for a public lecture, March 11, 2015. This free, public lecture, will offer intergenerational design strategies for engaging children with nature in cities. Robin Moore is the Geddes Visiting Fellow at The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Kids love to play in the dirt, and they are learning while they play! On March 7, child care directors and their staff can “dig in” to learning about starting edible gardens and some fun and educational ideas about cooking activities with the garden harvest!
The Natural Learning Initiative is featured in this NC State News article focused on The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation's 2015 Equipment Grant recipients. This year the grants focus on naturalizing the outdoor learning environment to enhance physical activity, nutrition, and learning.
The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), College of Design, NC State University, partnered with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation to provide almost $100,000 in Healthy Living Equipment Grants to 19 institutions (14 local Partnership for Children / Smart Start recipients and five community colleges).
Equipment grants will be used to increase physical activity of young children by improving childcare outdoor play and learning areas — for example, adding wheeled toy pathways, stepping stones, gardening opportunities, fruit trees, gathering areas, and shade structures. Projects in community colleges will serve also as demonstration sites for training future teachers on outdoor learning.