Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students welcomed some unusual visitors to their classroom in January in an exciting culminating activity that integrated Place-Based Education, community service, and science. Staff from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Millwood brought in a barred owl, a box turtle, two flying squirrels, and an arctic fox, all animals which had been rehabilitated after injury or trauma.
To prepare for their visitors, Kindergarten and JK students learned about the ways in which wild animals adapt to their environments, especially during the harsh winter season. They collected supplies for the BRWC to use for animal care, and even raised a $62 cash donation through a hot chocolate fundraiser.
The Hill School JK and Kindergarten team knows that, especially for our youngest students, all learning is interdisciplinary and multi-sensory. A picture book such as Jan Brett’s snowy tale of The Mitten, a coloring activity with a mentor, a class discussion about community service, and an opportunity to see a beautiful animal up close can come together into a durable education for tomorrow’s stewards of the environment.