TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2020 /CNW/ – Canadian parents and students are facing a challenging start to the academic school year with concerns of the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms. As school boards across struggle to accommodate safety concerns, outdoor education programs present a practical solution to practice physical distancing and reduce transmission among children and educators.
The Pine Project is Ontario’s leading nature connection organization and operates an outdoor school year-round with certified Ontario teachers. Student registration for the Pine Forest School and other programming for the academic year opens today, with enhanced policies and procedures for safety measures. To register for the Pine Forest School, visit www.pineproject.org
The Pine Forest School hosts a half-day program, 5 days a week for students ages 5 to10. The school integrates transformative, experiential, and innovative learning with the Ontario curriculum in a safe learning environment.
Leaders and experts point to open-air learning as safe environments during the pandemic:
- Toronto used forest schools to provide open-air learning to children during the tuberculosis outbreaks in 1912.
- Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford expressed support for outdoor learning during a press conference on July 22.
- This week, New York City’s Mayor DeBlasio announced his government’s outdoor learning plan for schools, using city property.
“Learning outdoors is more important than ever. Not only does it reduce risks associated with COVID-19, it presents a range of other physical, mental, social, and academic benefits to children. At Pine, we’ve always designed outdoor programs and experiences that re-connect children with the living world, support character development, and bring fun and excitement back to learning! Our year-round outdoor programs are a compliment to a conventional school-week experience, and our new Forest School programs are designed to integrate the Ontario curriculum with our unique approach, 5 days per week!”
– Andrew McMartin, Executive Director of the Pine Project