Forest Days in Vermont Kindergartens
Inspired by European Forest Kindergartens, a handful of teachers in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont began dedicating one day-per-week to nature-based play and learning five years ago. The idea, since featured on National Public Radio and on The Atlantic Magazine Education blog, has caught the attention of parents and educators nationwide. Regionally, dozens of classrooms now spend frequent time in wild spaces, cooking over campfires, and learning and playing in all weather.
“The Best Day Ever” takes you to two Upper Valley schools: Marion Cross (Norwich, VT) and Hartland Elementary (Hartland, VT). In the film, you hear from teachers, administrators, parents, and students, and get an intimate view of the hands-on learning happening in the forests beyond our local school playgrounds. See how dedicated teachers are changing the trajectory of public school Kindergarten by bringing joy and wonder back into education through the experience of playing in nature.
The film, made possible with the support of the George B. Storer Foundation, follows a well-received set of written case studies of Forest Day programs at Mount Lebanon School (NH) Hartland Elementary (VT) and Ludlow Elementary (VT).
Antioch’s Nature-Based Early Childhood program trains teachers, administrators, and founders of nature preschools and forest kindergartens.