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The Audubon Nature Preschool offers nature-based, hands-on preschool programs for children 5 years of age and younger.
2016-2017 Traditional Drop-off Programs:
Our Saplings classes (4 day AM and 4 day PM) are for children 3 to 5 years of age. Classes meet Mondays through Thursdays, September through May. Applicants need to be 3 years of age by September 1, 2016.
Our Forest Kindergarten Oaks class (5 day) is for children aged 4 & 5. This program acts as a transitional Kindergarten program for late 4's and 5 year olds. Oaks attend school as part of the mixed-age AM sapling class and then have an extended day with just the older group of Oaks from 11:45am-2pm on Mondays thru Fridays. The Oaks also meet on Friday for all outdoor days from 9am-12pm with their small group. Applicants need to be 4 years of age by May 1, 2016.
2016-2017 Parent & Child Programs:
Our Acorns (Tagalong) class is for children aged 4 and younger along with a parent or caregiver. Classes meet on Thursdays and take place entirely outdoors (weather permitting) on our 40-acre nature sanctuary. Sibling discounts offered for families enrolling more than one child in the class.
Our Sprouts (Parent-Tot) class is for children aged 2 to 3 1/2 years and their favorite adults. Classes meet on Fridays and each student attends class with a parent or caregiver. Applicants need to be 2 years of age by September 1, 2016.
The Preschool is located in the Edwin Way Teale Learning Center at the Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Children benefit from exploring the natural surroundings of the 40-acre sanctuary, which offer endless opportunities for investigation and discovery. The children's education is enriched by programs led by Director Stephanie Bozzo, Classroom Teachers Ryan Frye, Amelia McLaughlin, Katrina Kugel and Ruth Polk, and ANS staff naturalists.
Programs for 5's & under:
|Parent & child class|
attends with child
|Acorns||Thursdays||9:30-11:00am||$90/month||4 yrs. and
|AM Saplings||Mon-Thurs||8:45-11:45am||$750/month||3-5 years||16||no|
*Oaks and AM Saplings attend school together Monday through Thursday, 8:45-11:45am. Oaks have an extended day until 2pm on M-TH as well as all-outdoor days on Fridays 9-12.
Helpful Information for choosing the right class:
|Acorns||This 90 minute "Thursday Tagalong" class is held entirely outdoors on sanctuary grounds and is designed to foster shared nature discovery for you and your child. Younger siblings (under age 1) are welcome to join at no additional cost. Sibling discounts are offered when enrolling more than one child.|
|Sprouts||This 2 hour "Parent-tot" class offers an opportunity for a small group of 2's and 3's to explore our nature sanctuary with their favorite adult and one of our Nature School teachers. The class is a balance of outdoor and indoor activities which gives you a "preview" of our Nature School.|
|AM & PM
|Our drop-off program on Mondays through Thursdays for 3-5 year olds offers endless opportunities for learning and discovery on the sanctuary and in our classroom. Our days include lots of outdoor time exploring the nature trails, circle time with songs and stories, and hands-on activities in the classroom.|
|Oaks||Forest Kindergarten is an ideal class for older fours and younger fives who would benefit from a year of nature school before beginning a structured kindergarten or first grade. Oaks attend school with the 4 day AM Saplings Mondays through Thursdays and then enjoy an extended day until 2pm with activities focused more for their older subset. Forest Kindergarten Oaks includes all-outdoor Fridays from 9am-12pm with just their small group.|
Come visit our school, meet our staff, and explore our grounds! No RSVP necessary. Children encouraged to attend. Please dress for outdoor exploration after a short visit in our classroom.
Applications are accepted year-round; however, applications received by February 15, 2016 will receive preference. Applications from current and active ANS members also receive preference. Acceptance letters are sent to parents in March.
Open House Dates
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:30-11 am
Friday, December 11, 2015, 12-1 pm
*JUST ADDED!* Sunday, January 31, 2016, 9:30-11 am
Friday, February 5, 2016, 12-1 pm
CANCELLED FOR SNOW - Saturday, January 23, 2016, 9:30-11 am
Outdoor Preschools Take Children Into Living Classroom - NationalJournal
Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them. The Audubon Nature Preschool builds on children's inherent curiosity about the world by using hands-on, nature-based activities to foster social, physical, and academic skill development. The 40-acre outdoor environment and Edwin Way Teale Learning Center serve as natural venues for language, artistic, and musical expression as well as scientific observations and discoveries. Our preschool teachers plan age-appropriate activities that integrate science, math, literacy, and the arts while encouraging cooperative learning and social competence.
A Child's Day in Nature
At the Audubon Nature Preschool, our goal is to facilitate the development of academic, social and physical skills through interactions with the natural world. The following quote by Edwin Way Teale, the naturalist for whom our children's Learning Center is named, exemplifies the type of connection with nature we strive to make with our students. In the quote, Teale asks you to look at life through the eyes of a Daddy long legs: Imagine walking on legs so long you could cover a mile in fifty strides! Imagine looking to either side through eyes set not in your head but in a ... hump in your back! Imagine yourknees, when you walked, working a dozen feet or more above your head.
~ Edwin Way Teale
Children unravel the wonders of the natural world through a balance of self- and teacher-directed activities. Each day at the Audubon Nature Preschool follows a familiar rhythm of indoor play, circle time, snack and outdoor investigations. On our 40-acre nature sanctuary, children explore ecologically diverse aquatic, forest, and meadow habitats. Watching birds from our bird blind, looking under logs for creepy-crawlies, and using nets to explore the pond enrich a curriculum that integrates science, math, literacy, and the arts. Cooperative learning and social competence are developed through group and individual activities. Follow our Blog
ANP in the News
» Force of Nature: A Chevy Chase preschool encourages learning outside the box,
Jan-Feb, 2012, Bethesda Magazine.
» Nature's Classroom, WAMU report of Audubon Nature Preschool, April 7, 2010 (scroll down to middle of page)
For Preschool Educators
Audubon Nature Preschool teachers presented "Growing Life-Long Planetpals: Instilling Earth-Friendly Values at Preschool" at the First Annual Nature Preschool Conference at the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mill, Maryland in June 2012.
Please click links below for handouts.
Growing Life-Long Planetpals:
Instilling Earth-Friendly Values at Preschool
Stephanie Bozzo and Katie Rooney, The Audubon Nature Preschool
Learn from the experiences of others! Stephanie and Katie share nature-based curriculum ideas that cover all domains of development. Presenters showcase how The Audubon Nature Preschool educates young children and families about the importance of making choices that protect our health, air, water, land and wildlife. A sampling of age-appropriate, hands-on activities provides opportunities for participants to interact indoors and out. Activities are designed to foster life-long values of eco-consciousness, respect for all living things and each person's responsibility to care for the Earth. You will walk away with loads of lesson plan ideas for your program!