This fall hundreds of school children in our community will have the opportunity to leave the classroom and take to the local natural areas to discover the wonders of the environment in their “backyards”. As they learn about the ecology of the forest and the seasons, they will also reap the benefit of being out in nature. In this internet age, studies increasingly show that spending time in “green” spaces offers both physical and emotional benefits. A dedicated group of Sheldrake environmental educators guide children on these wondrous journeys. Jenny Geer of Larchmont, NY is one of them.
Jenny is a long-time educator at Sheldrake Environmental Center. She tells us a few things about her experience sharing the natural world with children. If you’ve ever thought about being an environmental educator, you may want to follow her lead and train to become one yourself!
Jenny’s thoughts on a child’s reaction to the wonders of nature
“For years I’ve been leading children on our local trails, and I never get tired of it. What could be better than to see the look of wonder on a child’s face as she is invited to have a daddy-long-legs crawl up her arm! . . . Or to cup our ears to listen for the red-bellied woodpecker’s screeching call…”
Jenny’s thoughts on the benefits to mind and body of spending time in nature
“I don’t need the studies to tell me the physical and psychic benefits of spending time in green spaces. I know I’m providing the children with those benefits, but here’s a little secret – I’m getting the same benefits myself!”
Jenny’s thoughts on environmental educators’ common passion
“[The educators] come from a variety of backgrounds – lawyers, teachers, artists, business executives – but all share a love of being outdoors and learning from the natural world.”
So, you’re inspired by Jenny’s experience and want to join her in being an environmental educator? Well… look no further! This fall, Sheldrake Environmental Center will once again offer its Volunteer Environmental Educator Training Program. You’ll get outside, improve your physical and mental health and, all along, gain the skills to motivate school children to do the same. Once you graduate, you’ll spend at least one morning a week leading school groups on the trails, and being a part of the children’s excitement and discovery, hearing them say “That’s awesome. This is the best field trip ever!” One morning a week is not enough for you? No problem! Sheldrake conducts trips several times a week during the busy spring and fall seasons.
The Volunteer Environmental Educator Training Program is made possible by generous support from Con Edison. The program enables Sheldrake Environmental Center to train the educators who are the organization’s face to the community, teaching children and adults alike about our fragile local ecology. More information on Sheldrake and its programs can be obtained by visiting www.sheldrakecenter.org, or by contacting Amy at (914)834-1443 or at email@example.com.