Green Schools National Conference @ Virginia Beach Convention Center
Mar 5 @ 8:00 am – Mar 6 @ 1:15 pm
Green Schools National Conference @ Virginia Beach Convention Center | Virginia Beach | Virginia | United States

The Green Schools National Network has created a “culture of collaboration,” as a result of year-round networking and partnerships, and through an annual national conference. We bring together like-minded people committed to the creation and support of healthy, green and sustainable schools.

As the only national conference bringing together experts and stakeholders to influence sustainability throughout K-12 schools and school districts, the annual Green Schools National Conference has grown in terms of attendance and scope. Colleagues who share their passion and offer their own green schools experiences are put together in a true collaborative event with thought leaders and early adopters of green school best practices. Attendees are passionate about transforming schools and the way they operate. The annual conference is designed to allow attendees to learn about creative strategies for success and to take home real-life tools that can transform schools.

Our recent conference in Sacramento continued our modus operandi in planning these annual events. Our planning process not only attracts ‘green’ advocates from across the country, but we work to include local green school representatives, advocates, and support organizations based in and around the conference venue. In California, we worked closely with HealthCorps and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools in developing programming and showcasing success stories that would inspire and motivate conferees.

In Bloom in Boston: Nature-based Early Childhood Education @ Boston Nature Center
Mar 17 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

You’re invited to our fourth year of In Bloom conferences. We’ll be on our home ground at Antioch University New England on Thursday, May 14. In addition, we’ll convene exemplary early childhood educators from downtown to down on the farm in Boston on Tuesday, March 17, in New Haven, Connecticut, on Saturday, April 25, and Shelburne, Vermont, on Wednesday, June 10. Each conference will have unique nationally (and internationally) recognized keynote speakers and unique workshops by local practitioners. All events will focus on the educational and health benefits of being outside with children.

Nature preschools and forest kindergartens have flourished in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Europe since the 1960s. In the last few decades they’ve started to take root throughout New England. Public school kindergartens in Vermont are spending one full day a week in the deep woods on Forest Fridays. Preschoolers are exploring naturalized play yards in New Haven. Children climb trees, make mudpies, whittle sticks, take care of animals AND expand their vocabularies, do real math, conduct investigations and develop resilience in nature-based programs. Come to one of the 2015 In Bloom conferences and learn from cutting edge educators who are redefining what’s possible in early childhood education.

Cost Details:

Regular rate: $75

Reduced rate of $50 (each) for:

  • Group of 3 or more from same organization
  • Antioch alum
  • Mass Audubon staff

Conference Schedule (PDF of Brochure):

8:15-9:00 Registration Check-In

9:00 – 9:15 Opening Circle

9:15-10:15 Morning Keynote: Ken Finch

Nature Play: Risky Business?

nature-based urban early childhood education - net sweepingStrongly rooted in both research and emotion, the nature play movement is growing rapidly. Yet significant challenges remain, including difficult questions of effectiveness and the vexing fears of risk. Veteran environmental educator Ken Finch will lead us through a light-hearted review of the powerful purposes of nature play. He’ll then explore its risks and related worries, with suggestions of how we can address common concerns about injuries and liability. Ken will also introduce a different type of risk: that some approaches to nature play may be falling short of our hopes.

10:15-12:00  Morning Workshops

(Participants will choose one workshop in this time frame.)

  • Eeeuwe! What’s that Smell?      Ruthie Ireland
    Exploring the Sensory Delights of Mud Season with Young Children

    March is a great season to be a curious outdoor explorer. Spring’s first wildflowers are waking up, sap is flowing in maple trees, and mud is abundant. Using our five-senses tool kit, we will explore some of March’s finest offerings – from skunk cabbage to maple sap to clay. Learn activities and techniques to bring into your classrooms and nature-based settings. Join in a sensory quest into magical mud season!
  • Initiating Inquiry      Kris Scopinich
    When exploring the natural world, science is all around. But where do you start with a group of young learners? Sometimes it’s best to start with children’s curiosity and other times you may begin your explorations with activities and tools that help to focus attention and observation. This workshop focuses on the “openers” or “inquiry starters” in nature that jumpstart science in the early childhood classroom. We’ll explore a variety of materials, activities and topics that you’re likely to find in your own educational setting: insects, soil, trees, birds and the changing weather.
  • Nature in the City Classroom      Keisha Jones
    This presentation will focus on how to bring nature into the city classroom. When children are surrounded by the interesting sounds and sights of an exciting city environment, it can be challenging to draw their attention to the elements of nature. In this workshop we will explore ways to simply bring the outdoors in and share the importance of nature with young children. Indoor and outdoor activities will be included.
  • The Dirt on Dirt      Claire Harris
    Urban landscapes may not have meadows and deep woods, but there’s usually some good old-fashioned dirt around in which children can get muddy. In this workshop we’ll explore the many functions of dirt in learning about the outdoors, the positive aspects of playing in the dirt, and the connections to the natural world and everyday life, even in an urban setting.
  • Story Telling with Nature      Karen First & Polly Pfau
    Sharpen your storytelling abilities using nature as inspiration. We will discuss the importance of oral language development to literacy learning and share documentation from early childhood classrooms. The session will include a brief introduction to key ideas, followed by the sharing of story-telling games, techniques for learning stories, the opportunity to make and take story stones, and the sharing of oral stories that contain environmental messages. Teachers will leave with a circle time story to share with their children the next day!

12:00-1:00    Lunch

1:00-2:00       Afternoon Keynote:                          Jane Hirschi

  • Planting the Seeds of Change
    School gardens and garden-based learning reflect an exciting trend impacting young learners around the country. Frequently run by parent volunteers and dependent on inspired teachers putting in extra hours, garden-based learning has largely by-passed students from high-need, urban public schools. What will it take to make garden-based learning part of every school and available to all children from the time they enter school? Jane will discuss the critical role of teachers in establishing successful integration and share examples from around the country, including CitySprouts.

 2:00-3:45       Afternoon Workshops:

(Participants will choose one workshop in this time frame.)

  • Nature Play with Authentic Nature      Ken Finch
    Keynote speaker Ken Finch will facilitate this workshop about the creation of nature play spaces that emphasize natural habitats and elements, augmented by affordable hand-built features. Be ready to share your own opportunities and barriers around nature play in small group discussions. Also come prepared to venture outside–we’ll search for ‘wild’ nature play opportunities on the Nature Center’s grounds, and practice analyzing their risks and benefits.
  • Rough-and-Tumble Play, the Outdoors, and the Young Child      Katie Roberts & Elizabeth Yon
    Rough-and-tumble play is important to a young child’s physical, social, and cognitive development. However, for many teachers and parents, the nature of that type of play can be hard to embrace. Join teachers from the Forest Gnomes Waldkindergarten as they explore big-body play in early childhood. They will share with you the benefits and challenges of allowing physical play in their outdoor program and how they address parents’ concerns and fears. Come with your own observations, reflections and questions, as a portion of the workshop will focus on child guidance strategies and how to create a safe space for rough-and-tumble play in your own programs.
  • A Natural Partnership      Roberta Udoh & Bo Hoppin
    On a tour of the school grounds, Bo and Roberta will share the place-based education and social justice context of Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School and the faculty commitment to providing natural world and community experiences for even their youngest students. The ongoing connection between preschoolers and the Boston Nature Center and the impact of this natural partnership both in the classroom and in the psyche of the child will receive special focus.
  • Singing Through the Seasons      Zoe McGrath & Meghan McDermott
    Take a deeper look at seasonal songs and circles and how they connect to nature and curriculum throughout the day and the year. In this workshop, you will learn seasonal circles that can be used in your classroom to bring in movement, rich language, literacy skills, rhythm and a deep connection to nature. You will leave with nature songs, finger plays and games that can be used throughout the day and year to connect with all areas of curriculum, including cooking and baking songs, gardening songs, cleaning songs, working songs, transition songs and songs for play.
  • Gardening, Worm Bins, and the Curriculum      Sharon Higgins
    Gardening with young children is not difficult, and you don’t have to be a gardener yourself to effectively bring children into gardening and gardening into the science, reading and math curriculum. Participants will learn how to start and maintain a simple worm bin, how to use the worm bin and gardens for scientific investigations, and lots of other practical skills for gardening with preschoolers.

3:45-4:00       Closing Circle

Optional Evening Program

  • 5:00-7:00       Invitation to Visit the Gnome Home

    Location: Natick Community Organic Farm, Natick, MA


Experienced Educators Info Session @ Antioch University New England
Mar 24 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Information Sessions are two-hour presentations providing information about the programs. They give you a chance to meet faculty and to have your questions answered in an informal atmosphere.

Register for this event

The Spirit of Inclusion: Stories of Success in Education Shared by Filmaker Dan Habib @ Antioch University New England, Community Room
Apr 2 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
The Spirit of Inclusion: Stories of Success in Education Shared by Filmaker Dan Habib @ Antioch University New England, Community Room | Keene | New Hampshire | United States

Professional Development Certificates Available

Join us for an after-school event with filmmaker Dan Habib, creator of the films, Including Samuel and Who Cares About Kelsey?

Habib will draw on his experiences as a parent and filmmaker to talk about how the spirit of inclusion can become part of our community culture.

Join us for a conversation featuring stories of heart and courage from Dan Habib and members of our local community.

Why attend?
For too long we have had two separate educational systems: general education and special education, existing in schools beside one another. In order to serve all children it is essential that we uncover and challenge the practices that segregate by academic and social ability. Dan Habib will talk about how we can disable that segregation.

Who should attend?
Teachers, parents, counselors, administrators, social service providers, and anyone interested in how people with differing abilities are included in our lives and our culture should attend. AUNE’s Applied Psychology and Education departments offer graduate level programs including an Autism Spectrum Disorders certificate and Elementary/Special Education teacher licensure. For 50 years Antioch has been making a difference in the lives of children and families.

Waldorf Education Visiting Day @ Antioch University New England
Apr 3 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Visiting Days give you the opportunity to consult with faculty, talk with students, visit classes, and tour the campus.

Register for this event

Antioch University New England | 50th Anniversary Celebration @ Antioch University New England
Apr 16 @ 11:00 am – Apr 19 @ 12:30 pm


Save the Date: April 16 – 19, 2015

Mark your calendars and plan to come back to Antioch University New England. This will be a weekend to recognize AUNE’s past, embrace its mission, meet new friends, and reconnect with old friends. Check back soon for more updates!

Download a PDF of AUNE’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend Brochure

Thursday, April 16

11 am-1 pm | Workshop:  The Social Profit Handbook by David Grant—Hosted by the Center for Academic Innovation, Community Room

Author David Grant offers those who lead, govern, and support mission-driven organizations and businesses new ways to assess their impact in order to improve future work rather than merely judge past performance. Suggested donation: $15. No fee for students.

5-9 pm | Movie Screening and Discussion: Unspoken Crimes—Hosted by the Support Group for Ethnic and Racial Diversity (SERD), Community Room

Join the discussion: What can be done to solve America’s human trafficking epidemic?

6-8 pm | Alumni and Friends Art Exhibit Opening Reception, West Wing

Friday, April 17

10 am-8 pm | Alumni and Friends Art Exhibit, West Wing

10:30 am-12 pm | AUNE and the 1960s Panel Discussion: Activism, Social Justice & Our Role in History—Hosted by the Board of Trustees, Community Room

Discover and discuss the role early Antioch-Putney students and faculty played in the tumultuous 1960s, and how that time strengthened AUNE’s mission and values.

11:30 am-1:30 pm | Lunch à la Carte

1-4 pm | Community Gardens Connection Introduction and Service Project—Hosted by the Department of Environmental Studies, E101

Learn about this exciting student-driven initiative that builds capacity to grow food where we live, work, and play. Come prepared to go outside and get dirty!

1-6 pm | Clinical Psychology Roger Peterson Distinguished Speaker Series Featuring Kenneth Gergen and Social—Hosted by the Department of Clinical Psychology, Community Room and Dance Studio

AUNE Clinical Psychology welcomes renowned psychologist Kenneth Gergen as part of the inaugural Roger Peterson Lecture Series. Discussion, Q&A and social to follow.

4-6 pm | Social at Glen Maples for Antioch-Putney Graduates—Hosted by the Board of Trustees

Join fellow Antioch-Putney alumni and faculty for a reunion at the school’s original site, Glen Maples in Putney, Vermont.

6:30-8:30 pm | Family Contra Dance and Social—Hosted by the Department of Education, Community Room

Gather for music and dancing while we celebrate long-time core faculty member, Jane Miller, and wish her the best in her retirement.

Saturday, April 18

9:30 am-1 pm | Meet the Mountain Day—Hosted by the Department of Environmental Studies, Monadnock State Park

Hike and explore Monadnock State Park with Environmental Studies students who are members of the Monadnock Ecological Research and Education (MERE) Project. They will share information about natural history and outdoor safety, and will lead short activities at the visitors’ center.

10 am-5 pm | Alumni and Friends Art Exhibit, West Wing

10 am-12:30 pm | International Counseling Honor Society Chi Sigma Iota Counseling and Professional Honor Induction Ceremony followed by DMT Presentation and Brunch—Hosted by the Department of Applied Psychology, Community Room

Join us for the first initiation ceremony of Chi Sigma Iota Counseling and Professional Honor Society for AUNE Applied Psychology students, faculty and alumni, followed by a presentation by Dance/Movement Therapy students.

1-5:00 pm | Leadership and Resilience Panel Discussion—Hosted by the Department of Management, Community Room

Join us in the conversation: How can we support resilience in ourselves and in our organizations in the face of today’s challenges?

1:30-4:30 pm | Women in Environmental Leadership Panel Discussion—Hosted by the Department of Environmental Studies, E 101

Learn about and discuss the important and unique roles women are playing in environmental leadership and science.

5:30-8 pm | Evening Community Celebration at Stonewall Farm—All Departments (ticketed event)

Join us to celebrate AUNE’s milestone at Stonewall Farms. Enjoy a cash bar, appetizers, and live music while mixing and mingling with old and new friends. Tickets cost $35 per person (limit 150 guests). For those who would otherwise be unable to attend, some donated tickets are available at no charge. Purchase online or call 603-283-2165.

Sunday, April 19

9 am-12 pm | Open House and Brunch—All Departments, Community Room

Learn about current AUNE programs and degrees, and opportunities for alumni engagement.

9:30 am | Hike with ES Faculty Emeritus Tom Wessels—Hosted by the Environmental Studies, Department, meet at AUNE

Explore Bear’s Den Natural Area in Gilsum with the expert.

12 pm | Ceremonial Tree Planting

Join us to commemorate AUNE’s long legacy—50 Years of Changing the World—as we plant a tree to celebrate our past, present and future in this community.

(last updated 3/5/2015)



Elementary Ed., Early Childhood, Holistic Spec. Ed., Nature-based Early Childhood Teacher Certification Visiting Day @ Antioch University New England
Apr 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Visiting Days give you the opportunity to consult with faculty, talk with students, visit classes, and tour the campus.

Register for this event

In Bloom in New Haven: Promising Practices in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education @ Leila Day Nurseries
Apr 25 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 4.47.59 PMConference Brochure

Conference Schedule:

8:15–9:00 Registration Check-In
9:00–9:15 Opening Circle
9:15–10:15 Opening Keynote:  Marcy Guddemi

The Link to Academic Success: Understanding Play, the Brain, and Outdoors

Academic success starts with pretend play in the great outdoors! This session will focus on why all play is important, but not all play is of equal value; why the new neuroscience on brain development supports pretend play; and how the elements found in the outdoors encourage mature, intentional socio-dramatic play among children.

10:15-12:00Morning Workshops

Nourishing Children’s Hearts, Minds and Bodies through Direct Experience in Nature Justin Pegnataro
Beyond the Playground: Strategies for Save Unstructured Natural Play in your Urban Schoolyard Rebecca Holcome & Jill Keating Herbst
Branching Out: Using Sticks & Logs in the Early Childhood Curriculum Shary Barnes and Pam Heaphy
Language Development and Nature Education David Sobel
Collect, Collaborate, Create Violet Talbot
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Afternoon Keynote: Ellen Doris

Connecting Children to Place: Teachers as Catalysts

Just as children construct their own knowledge of the world and how it works, they forge their own relationships with their surroundings and communities. Try as we might, we can’t make connections for them! What then, is the teacher’s role? A close look at the evolution of several place-based investigations carried out by young children will shed light on the matter, highlighting the choices teachers make as facilitators and catalysts.
2:00-3:45 Afternoon Workshops
Claywork Winnie Naclerio and Kitty Lustman-Findling
All Our Kin’s Garden Project with Home Day Care Providers Stephanie Lorek and Bernadette Ngoh
Urban and Outdoors: Everyday Adventure Play Wendy Garcia
Reimagining the Outdoor Space at Leila Day Gladys Deutsch
3:45-4:00 Closing Circle



For more news and events, visit the AUNE News page and the AUNE Event Calendar.