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Why Nature-Based Learning is Essential for a Child's Development

As we welcome the longer days of spring, I'm reminded of the invaluable lessons and enduring memories that come from spending time outdoors. Richard Louv, in his insightful book Last Child in the Woods, compellingly argues for the critical role nature plays in our children's health, development, and mental well-being. My own memories and lessons learned while being outside still resonate with me today, even though some of those adventures are decades old.  For example, I may not be able to tell you what happened last weekend, but I remember pretty much every pitch while spending two days climbing the NE Buttress of Mt. Slesse in August of 1998.

At Madrona, we are committed to embracing the outdoors as an extension of our classrooms. This aligns with one of the key initiatives of our strategic plan: nature-based learning. We view the natural world as a powerful co-teacher, offering students dynamic, hands-on learning experiences that enrich their academic journey and personal growth. By integrating nature-based learning into our curriculum, we aim to foster an environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally while developing a lifelong appreciation for the environment.

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