The Benefits of Teaching Sustainability in Early Education
At ChildRoots, teaching sustainability is a foundational part of our program from our curriculum to our meal plans. As part of our eco-mittment, we practice sustainability in a variety of ways that enhance the way children interact with the natural world. We believe instilling sustainable practices at an early age helps children develop positive lifelong attitudes and values toward the environment. This is one of the many benefits to integrating sustainable practices and environmental education into our curriculum.
Interacting with the Natural Environment
Many of our practices help children interact with their outside environment and allow them to appreciate the beautiful natural landscape of our Portland community. Frequent interaction with outdoor environments in place of one-time trips to parks or limited outdoor play helps children to build a sense of wonder towards the environment. Rather than reading about nature in a book or learning about it in a lecture, experiencing the natural world allows students to gain a better understanding of it.
Experiences can be as simple as watching flowers grow throughout the spring or walks through the neighborhood. Our staff serve as guides through these experiences of discovery, allowing children to form their own personal thoughts and views on nature. Frequent outdoor play is an integral part of our program with all children going outside at least once per day.
The Importance of Sustainable Practices In and Out of the Classroom
ChildRoots creates positive learning environments that foster an appreciation for environmental awareness through sustainable activities and practices inside and outside of the classroom. Practicing sustainability in the classroom has several benefits including increased interest in environmental education, positive impacts on student well-being like the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and improved critical thinking skills. Integrating environmental education into curriculum can provide benefits to the larger community as well. These include promoting connection through community involvement and encouraging positive actions to better the environment.
At each ChildRoots learning center, we reduce waste disposal, repurpose and re-use, and use environmentally safe products. We also include environmentally focused projects like composting and gardening in our project-based curriculum.