Waldorf School launches extended-day woodland program

This fall, the Lake Champlain Waldorf School (LCWS) will launch a highly anticipated woodland-based program to provide families with care after school hours for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. “The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of working families,” said Admissions Director Pam Graham, “while providing an extended day in line with our school values. We are dedicated to an environmentally sustainable education, and to children’s right to unstructured time. We are excited to provide what we think is a unique nature-based program.”

The kindergarten extended day will begin after noon dismissal with lunch, rest, and outdoor playtime. The grade school program will begin with a nourishing snack after 3 pm dismissal. Parents can pick up their children until 5:30 pm.

Afternoons will offer opportunities for animal care of the school’s sheep, chickens, and rabbits, work in the gardens, exploration of the unique forest marsh around the school, and artistic activities with natural materials. The program reflects LCWS’s values of cultivating a deep connection to the outdoors, promoting children’s creativity, and supporting their capacity to form independent play.

A special feature of the program will be growing, harvesting, and preparing whole foods. Each day children will help make and then eat together a nourishing, whole foods snack, often of ingredients they helped to grow.

Program Director Tai Dinnan brings a wealth of experience as a nature educator. With degrees from Tufts University in Child Development and Community Health, Dinnan has supervised community gardening and environmental education programs, and served as a Senior Fellow for the Environmental Leadership Program. In 2013 she moved back to her home state of Vermont and accepted the position of After-School Program Director this spring.

“It is such a pleasure to facilitate hands-on learning and exploration,” commented Dinnan. “The Lake Champlain Waldorf School offers an amazing location and a school philosophy that emphasizes student-driven discovery. The combination allows us to create a very special program.” Currently, the program is offered to Lake Champlain Waldorf School students only.

To learn more, contact Pam Graham (802)985-2827 ext. 12.

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