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February 18, 2016

Broadreach co-sponsors Fostering Reading Readiness Through Place-Based Nature Education Training

Nature to Nurture Program on February 26

Susan Bennett Armistead
Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead

 

Broadreach Family & Community Services has been diligently working to move its Early Childhood Education model to incorporate nature-based programs in its classrooms in Waldo County. A recent grant from the Davis Family Foundation is allowing the organization to bring an exciting program, “Where Nature Meets Nurture…Fostering Reading Readiness Through Place-Based Nature Education” to Belfast on Friday, February 26th from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm with featured speaker Susan Bennet-Armistead. Ms. Bennett-Armistead is an Assistant Professor of Early Literacy and holds the Correll Professorship in Early Literacy at the University of Maine.

The program is co-sponsored by the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, also the location for the session which is open to the public. The cost is $39 per person and includes lunch. The program offers five training contact hours for education professionals.

The Davis Family Foundation grant is designed to provide a series of rigorous professional development opportunities to early childhood educators. It will give teachers a deeper understanding of the rationale, methods and therapeutic value of implementing nature-based programs for children of all abilities. It is intended to help educators locate and carry early language and literacy learning experiences into natural settings.

Deb Hensley, Director of Broadreach’s Early Childhood Education Services shared, “We are excited to be able to open this program to the community and to our colleagues in other schools and programs. With the success of last summer’s Unity Sprouts summer program; we have been moving forward with our place based nature programming. Literacy, language skills, numeracy, science, general developmental and social skills have all been successfully provided in an outdoor setting for young children of diverse abilities.”

Susan Bennett-Armistead, the speaker for this event, will be drawing on her twenty years as a preschool teacher, parent educator, program administrator, and her doctorate with an emphasis in early literacy. She speaks nationally to educators and parent groups on the role families can play in their children’s early literacy learning. For more information, please contact The Hutchinson Center at 338-8034.