LOS ANGELES (April 26, 2012) - Brooklyn Early Education Center (EEC), located in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has earned national designation as a certified Nature Explore Classroom from the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
Brooklyn EEC is the first certified Nature Explore Classroom within the District, and joins a growing network of organizations that has created effective outdoor learning environments for children. This network allows for idea-sharing, peer support, continuous learning and development.
“I am excited that the children at Brooklyn Early Education Center have an environment to connect with nature through exploration and discovery. They are learning to appreciate the beauty of our natural world while developing math, science, social studies and language skills,” said Brooklyn’s Principal Ranae Amezquita.
“Everyone at Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation appreciates the commitment that Brooklyn Early Education Center has made to the Nature Explore program and to providing nature education opportunities for young children,” said Susie Wirth, outreach director for the Arbor Day Foundation.
Outdoor classrooms are designed to help children create visual masterpieces in a nature art area. Built with natural materials, kids can climb on natural structures, and practice their balance, agility and creativity in areas designed for music and movement. These classrooms offer interactive elements, including musical instruments made of natural materials, climbing structures, wooden blocks and garden areas. The natural materials are for building and creating art, giving children important and inspiring nature experiences.
About Brooklyn Early Education Center:
Brooklyn EEC is located in East Los Angeles. It is a full-day preschool program serving 126 children from ages two- to four-years-old, with an inclusive special education program. Over the past four years the staff has been trained to integrate the components of the Outdoor Classroom and Nature Explore. We take our curriculum outside where children can be active learners while gaining an appreciation for nature. On a daily basis, children interact with their environment by digging, building, creating, planting, tasting, harvesting and investigating entomology in their habitat.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization of more than 1 million members, inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation: Dimensions Educational Research Foundation was formed in 1998 to study how science, math and literacy learning can be enhanced by the addition of more visual-spatial activities into classrooms and homes. For a number of years, the foundation has conducted and collected research on how children best develop visual-spatial skills and how teachers and families can optimally support this development. The foundation’s goal is to create and deliver unique educational programming to 1) Help people better understand and appreciate the natural world by developing visual-spatial skills; and 2) Improve science, math and literacy learning through visual-spatial skills.