The Nature Explore Classroom at Scott County Family YMCA Palmer Learning Center
The Scott County Family Y-Palmer Learning Center Nature Explore Classroom continues to use the well-defined, clearly delineated areas for all kinds of different activities.
The students have added their own twists to the environment. For example, as the birds ate from a feeder on the outside of one of the windows in the Pre - K rooms, they dropped seeds on the ground and seeded grasses began to grow. The students and staff decided not to "weed out" the plants from the landscaping, so that they could then harvest the new seeds to be used during the winter months for the birds! At the end of the summer the grass plants were harvested and dried, the students then put the seeds in a jar so that the birds would have seeds this winter.
A tunnel was added this year that is covered with the same bamboo material that is on the fences. The students have used this for many different types of play scenarios.
The licensing agent is so impressed with the outdoor environment that she has asked permission to send other centers over to see what they have accomplished. Patti Broadwater-Jones and Deb Gustafson are in an Aim for Excellence director training and one of the cohorts was held in their building so that the other participants could experience the outdoor environment.
Information about the Nature Explore Classroom has been sent home in parent newsletters. Parents have also brought in materials such as pine cones and rocks to enhance the playground.
Because of the excitement created by the Palmer Learning Center Nature Explore Classroom, help was enlisted from United Way volunteers to develop the newly certified Scott Family Y Learning Center Nature Explore Classroom at the Downtown Davenport Y location.