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Bringing Nature Connection Into More Public Schools

Published March 20th, 2019

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750 Rondout students, 640 Ellenville students, 1,100 Kingston students: throughout the Hudson Valley students in public schools are building social and emotional wellness with Wild Earth.

This past fall, Wild Earth successfully piloted our Guided Recess & After-School Adventures for 4th-8th graders in the Rondout Intermediate School.

Our instructors/mentors brought our Guided Recess & After-School Adventures to 750 Rondout students (4th-8th grades) over the course of 5-weeks. It was a pleasure to connect with more Rondout students! We are working with the Rondout district to bring a more expansive project to RVCSD.

This spring, our popular Guided Recess & After-School Adventures is coming to the Ellenville Central School District for the first time.

Our engaging instructors/mentors will bring nature-based character and confidence building activities to 640 students (4th-8th grades) over the course of 7-weeks. We are so pleased to be partnering with the Ellenville Schools and supported by Barack Obama’s My Brothers Keeper mentoring initiative.

This school year, Wild Earth is leading over 120 days of programs in the Kingston City Schools for K-8th grades.

Now in the second year of our Kingston Middle School Nature Connection & Experiential Education Project, every 5th & 6th grader in Kingston (roughly 1,100 students) is receiving 38 days of Wild Earth nature immersion field trips, guided recess, and after-school adventures.

Independent research conducted throughout the first year of this project demonstrated positive social and emotional wellness outcomes and 3x fewer disciplinary incidents reported on days Wild Earth was in the schools.

We are planning for our third year expansion of the Kingston project which will now include all the 7th grade and provide 56 Wild Earth contact days for each and every student in the middle schools. We are so pleased to be partnering so strongly with the Kingston School District!

“Wild Earth is more fun than video games because I can actually play with friends instead of talking over a headset.”
Videogame-Oriented Kingston Student

We are also very excited to announce that this spring, Wild Earth will be offering our guided recess and after-school programs for 325 students (K-4th grade) at Kingston’s JFK Elementary. We’re especially excited to be back at JFK Elementary, where Wild Earth first piloted our public school programming back in 2015.

David BrownsteinDavid BrownsteinDavid Brownstein, Executive Director

In 2004, David co-founded and, today, is the Executive Director of Wild Earth, where he seeks to help regenerate healthy community culture and create opportunities for people to connect with themselves, each other and the Earth. Prior to founding Wild Earth, David worked as a wealth advisor on Wall Street for twelve years before realizing a life dream – fully sharing in the care and parenting of his three children, and creating a small family farm. Today, the Brownsteins raise dairy cows, goats, chickens, bees and vegetables in season. David also maintains an active counseling practice called Root Connections, where he focuses on helping individuals, couples, groups and business leaders identify and manifest their unique vision. More about David's work.

1 thought on “Bringing Nature Connection Into More Public Schools”

  1. Valerie Percy says:

    Hello Mr. Brownstein! I am a parent and a teacher in the Kingston district. Two of our three kids have had the opportunity to be part of Wild Earth’s school program at Bailey Middle School, and I’ve heard great things from kids and staff at JFK about your work there. Over at Chambers Elementary, we have been working to increase Earth awareness and stewardship through an Earth Month Challenge last spring. Students and classes completed ‘Earth-friendly’ actions to earn chances at prizes. Our neighbors and partners in the community were generous in donating prizes including gift cards, field trips, and money to cover field trip busing. We’re hoping to expand our work this fall by challenging another school in the district – Graves Elementary – to a Waste Reduction competition. We would love to talk with you about working with us on this new challenge. A visit from Wild Earth could be a motivating, worthy, and educational prize for a hardworking class or two! Thanks for your consideration.

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