Center Discusses Appropriate Nature Education for Young Children

In October, key staff of the Child Educational Center (CEC), led by founding directors Elyssa Nelson and Eric Nelson, joined over 250 early childhood educators, community planners, playground designers, environmental educators and conservationists from around the world to discuss developmentally appropriate nature education for young children.

The event, whose chief organizers included the CEC, the National Arbor Day Foundation, Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the World Forum on Early Care and Education, took place at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska, an appropriate setting for the attendees who are trying to promote a world-wide movement to help parents, educators, communities and policy makers understand the vital role nature plays in children's overall health and well-being.

The CEC has provided local leadership in this area for nearly three decades, through their Outdoor Classroom Program. In 2004, First5LA awarded the CEC $1 million over five years to provide county-wide childcare professionals with information and training on the positive impact of outdoor play

The CEC currently provides comprehensive early care and education for children. In January, 2007, the CEC will hold their 6th semi-annual L.A. County Early Childhood Conference for childcare staff on "Creating the Outdoor Classroom."

For more information, call Willow Gerber, director of development, at (626) 296-1770.

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