The out-of-doors is a critical tool to engage lifelong learners of all ages in discovering more about the natural world and the place they have in it. This amazing tool can be overlooked because educators – from classroom teachers to scout leaders, youth group counselors, parents, and others – may not not have the training, resources, or support necessary for utilizing nature as their classroom.
CFPA assists educators in three ways:
- Promoting Environmental Literacy: CFPA has worked with the CT Department of Education, the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association, and others to write a statewide Connecticut Environmental Literacy Plan (adopted in 2012), and we continue to work at the state and local levels to see that it is implemented.
- Leading Workshops for Educators: CFPA coordinates the award-winning Project Learning Tree (PLT) program for educators. PLT workshops provide tools and hands-on outdoors training for educators. PLT is also connected to both the Common Core for Math and English Language Arts. PLT is also correlated to the CT Curriculum Framework for science, math, language arts, social studies, and the arts, so school administrators can see how PLT complements and enhances existing school requirements.
- Utilizing Outdoor Classrooms: CFPA utilizes several primary venues for demonstrating how educators can become comfortable with teaching outdoors:
- Highlawn Forest [Link coming soon]
- Goodwin Forest
- New England Trail [Link coming soon]
- Your community