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Kinder-Gardeners: the Power of Nature to Nurture

by Linda Hutchinson-Harmon
July/August 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/kinder-gardeners-the-power-of-nature-to-nurture/5018858/

The four-year-old children in Mrs. Hood and Mrs. Harris's class are happily playing in learning centers stationed throughout the classroom. Some are building with blocks, some are playing with play dough, others are putting floor puzzles together, while several other children are playing in the home living center. Two children share the bench at the Young Explorer computer, two children are painting masterpieces at the easels, while still others are working in a small group with a teacher. Suddenly, the door to the classroom opens and four 6th graders stand in the doorway with smiles on their faces. One by one the four year olds notice their special visitors and run to give them hugs and excitedly grab their hands and pull them into their classroom. All the indoor activities come to a halt because something better is about to happen — and it happens outside! This is a story about the positive power of nature in the lives of children, particularly those children who are at-risk for school failure.

The setting for the story is the Central Child Development Center (CCDC) in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a public preschool with four-year-old kindergarten students (4K) and preschoolers with special ...

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