Nature-Based Fellowships Now Open to Antioch University New England Students

Nature-based Kindergarten

Seated: Gladys Deutsch, Paula Goodwin, Kathy Torrey, Meghan McDermott, and Zoe McGrath.
Standing: David Sobel, AUNE Education faculty; Patty Bailie, Jean Dorcus, Chris Amirault, Ginny Sullivan, and Patty O’Hanlon.

Students in AUNE’s Department of Education can now apply for fellowships in nature-based childhood education. A steering committee made up of directors of early childhood centers from Keene, New Hampshire;  New Haven, Connecticut;  Providence, Rhode Island; and Boston gathered at AUNE recently to plan the internships.

The group designed the fellowships to support urban early childhood programs. Students will help in the naturalization process of early childhood center programs and play yards. The fellowships start in the spring semester, 2014.

The steering committee members will also co-sponsor, with AUNE, conferences to be held in New Haven, Providence, and Boston within the next year. The Best Practices in Nature-based Early Childhood conferences will be an extension of the successful In Bloom conference that has been held in Keene for the last two springs.

Funding for the meeting, the fellowships, and the conferences was provided by a $117,000 grant from the  George B. Storer Foundation to the Department of Education to develop its new Nature-Based Early Childhood Education program.

Early childhood center directors attending were: Meghan McDermott and Zoe McGrath, Mariposa Preschool, Providence; Chris Amirault, Brown/Fox Point Early Childhood  Education Center, Providence; Gladys Deutsch,  Leila Day Nurseries, New Haven; Patty O’Hanlon , Westville Community Nursery  School, New Haven; Jean Dorcus, Massachusetts Audubon, Boston Nature Center Nature Preschool,  Boston; Paula Goodwin, Massachusetts Audubon, Drumlin Farm Preschool, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Patti Bailie, AUNE Department of Education faculty member and founder of Nature  Preschool at Schlitz Audubon, Milwaukee; Ginny Sullivan, AUNE Department of Education faculty member and director of Learning by the Yard: Consultants for School Grounds; and Kathy Torrey, Rise for Baby and Family, Keene, New Hampshire.