“We cannot protect something we do not love, we cannot love something we do not know, and we cannot know what we do not sense.â€ â€“ Richard Louv
The First Baptist Church of Clarendon Child Development Centerâ€™s vision for the Environmental Education Program is, to, through supporting all aspects of growth and development, children become happy, healthy, resilient, kind, critical thinkers, who will, as adults, contribute well to their families and faith communities both locally and globally.
Research indicates that when young children are exposed to and engage regularly with the natural world there are many cognitive, social-emotional and physical benefits. Children acquire better social and physical skills while physical fitness, gross motor skills and well-being are improved. Similarly, creativity and imaginative play is supported. Time outdoors leads to a decrease in oppositional, defiant, and aggressive behavior and acts, stress is reduced and environmental stewards are created. With this it is our intention to increase the quantity, quality, and benefit of outdoor experiences for children in our care.
Our Environmental Education Program is comprised of our Outdoor Classroom, Nature Club, Garden Education, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Program, Forest Kindergarten, Passport to Discovery, Science Sundays, Bicycling for Dads, and Wonders of the Woods. These programs are an extension of the High/Scope and Montessori curriculums currently implemented in our indoor classrooms. Our curriculum is continuously evolving and diverging along new paths as children make choices and connections with their lived experiences in nature.