Children in Nature PEI Afterschool Program

Organization Sponsor: Recreation PEI

Organization Partner: Charlottetown, City

URLs: 

Program Description

Spending time in nature is highly beneficial for children as they develop; helping them
mature into strong, observant and healthy individuals. Today, children and youth are more
disconnected from nature than ever. Children in Nature P.E.I. is a nature-based active program created to inspire children and youth to be active and enjoy nature by providing them with the opportunity to visit natural areas. They are introduced to flora and fauna and take part in fun and engaging activities that will encourage them to grow into individuals who are comfortable in nature; are aware of their impact on the environment; understand important nature-based themes; and develop a love and compassion for nature and physical activity.

Although Children in Nature P.E.I. is a program developed for delivery during afterschool hours, with preexisting afterschool programs or on its own, all games and lessons can be adapted and used by anyone.

This program has various modules for each of the four seasons. Each module will introduce children/youth to a different topics relevant to P.E.I. The information will be delivered to the children/youth as they are lead through a winding trail in the woods, across a rolling meadow or along a sandy beach. With each ecosystem they visit, they will see and learn about various living things.

Program Approximate Cost: 

One program coordinator.

Funding Sources: 

IWK Children's Hospital, Recreation P.E.I. partnered with the City of Charlottetown.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The 8 week program was designed by the project coordinator and can be delivered by anyone including at home by parents. At the present the after school staff are already hired and the Nature Curriculum adds diversity to their existing program. At the present several World Youth Volunteers also assist.

Impact Of Program: 

Three schools are participating in this pilot and about 100 children are participating.

Evaluation Tools: 

Evaluations done by parents and after school programmers and leaders.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The City of Charlottetown already has staff and operate nature programs for children.The Children in Nature Program grew out of the ideas and experience by the City of Charlottetown.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Promoting Nature as a theme for children and developing a clientele. Parents often pick kids up at different times. Having a set time for the program to end each day will allow for a set curriculum to be explore fully.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This program began as a pilot in 2011.

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