“Nature’s Nursery” students enjoy sledding after an early snowfall. Winter sessions begin on Jan. 6 at Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne. Photo courtesy Friends of Rogers
“Nature’s Nursery” students enjoy sledding after an early snowfall. Winter sessions begin on Jan. 6 at Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne. Photo courtesy Friends of Rogers

For the second year in a row, Friends of Rogers hosts “Nature’s Nursery,” a specialized early childhood education program designed to cultivate outdoor exploration among children ages 2, 3 and 4.

Throughout the academic year, sessions are held at the Visitor Center in Sherburne on Friday from 9:30-11:30 am. Coordinator Jenni Larchar leads young explorers in a variety of fun and engaging educational activities.

Barring extreme weather, classes will include outdoor activities, so children should dress for the weather.

“Our goal is to nurture a love of nature and encourage curiosity,” Larchar said. “Even an ordinary trail walk becomes an adventure when seen through the eyes of young children.”

According to the Early Head Start National Resource Center, “research in the past 10 years, (shows that) young children are spending less time outdoors engaging in active play and exploring the natural world. … There is growing consensus among educators, health and mental health professionals, and other child advocates that this trend has significant adverse effects on young children’s health and development.

“(This) contributes to a rise in obesity, depression, and attention disorders, and as young children spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically. Childhood obesity is of particular concern.”

“We are very excited that ‘Nature’s Nursery’ is returning this winter,” said Simon Solomon, Friends of Rogers executive director. “Offering early childhood environmental education means the fulfillment of our mission in a unique way.”

The winter session of Nature’s Nursery begins Jan. 6 and runs through March 24. To register, download forms at www.FriendsofRogers.org, call (607) 674-4733 or e-mail kidscoordinator@FriendsofRogers.org.

Rogers Center is operated by Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers educational programs for people of all ages. Seasonal hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

By martha

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