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The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon has the goal of providing all children and youth in Central Oregon first hand connections with nature by providing meaningful, inspirational, and interdisciplinary education programs. The Children’s Forest is here to partner with schools and teachers to enhance learning through outdoor education. As a teacher, you play an important role in helping to instill a love of nature and science by bringing kids outside to learn. Whether you are considering your first field experience or have been leading them for decades, we’re here to help.
Outdoor learning engages students at a deeper level and provides opportunities for students of all abilities and backgrounds to experience and connect with the wonder, science, and adventure of nature. As a teacher, outdoor education can enrich your lesson planning and help your students meet state math and science standards. Hands-on learning also inspires your students to become stewards of the environment and introduces them to careers in natural resources.
“When the students are able to learn outdoors, they interact directly with their environment and naturally ask questions and form connections with the science content and the natural world. I see the students’ interest levels increase, and they take more ownership in what they learn.” -Rima Givot, Sisters High School
“We were astounded by how many math and science standards that we were hitting. Its almost silly not to be taking your kids outside and learning in these kinds of ways because the standards that these covers.” – Stephanie Morrison
The Studies Show Outdoor Learning….
The Children’s Forest network provides more than 30 region-wide programs -K-12- to help you, your school and your students access extraordinary outdoor learning. All programs are aligned with education standards and provide meaningful ways for students to learn science concepts using the natural world as their classroom. To view a complete list of environmental education programs by grade level,click here.
Recognizing that teachers often face many barriers, the Children’s Forest has developed a suite of resources, working to improve access to nature for all students. Our resources include:
1. Transportation fees (bussing) for field experiences for students
2. Substitute fees associated with field experiences for students
Learn more and apply here.
Additionally, with 1 month’s advance notice, Bend Park and Recreation District may provide Therapeutic Recreation staff to provide individualized techniques and resources used to enhance program participation for students with disabilities. This service is intended to supplement assistance that school district aides provide. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Children’s Forest and our partners offer professional development opportunities for teachers to build skills and curriculum to lead your own outdoor activities. To learn about upcoming opportunities, click here.