Perfect Praise Learning Center named a certified Nature Explore Classroom
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A Copperas Cove day care center is one of two local facilities that has received national recognition by being named a certified Nature Explore Classroom by Nature Explore.
“Perfect Praise Learning Center’s commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to programs and educators throughout the country,” said Heather Fox, director of communications and outreach for the Nature Explore program. “These spaces inspire hands-on activity, creativity, play and plenty of time exploring the natural world.”
Perfect Praise Learning Center joins a nationwide network of 390 classrooms located in elementary schools, nature centers, military bases, national forests, parks and wildlife refuges, zoos, Head Start centers, arboretums, children’s museums, and other public spaces across the country.
To achieve this certification, Perfect Praise Learning Center had to meet criteria to include a well-designed outdoor space and demonstrate principles from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s book, Learning with Nature Ideas Book, were used in the design of new outdoor spaces, or the redesign of existing spaces.
Also, the center had to demonstrate that its staff received training in a Nature Explore Workshop also show that the center’s families are taking part in activities that promote nature education for young children.
The center has a digging mound, which children use to hunt for treasure, to which more dirt will be added. The center has plans to plant more trees for additional shade, along with butterfly bushes.
The Nature Explore program is an initiative sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Foundation in collaboration with environmental, educational, design and health organizations.
Nature Explore offers outdoor classroom design services, along with workshops and conferences to share ideas for enhancing children’s learning with nature. They also offer products for outdoor classrooms, resources for families to use at home, and have a sustainability network in which different programs can share ideas with each other.
There are currently 21 certified nature explore classrooms in the state of Texas.