At the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm in Dayton, Ohio, no one is too young to begin developing a love for nature. That’s the premise behind Aullwood’s Nature/Farm Play Preschool. The preschool, based at Aullwood’s farm, is a partnership with Miami Valley Child Development Centers, which operates Head Start programs in the Dayton area. Head Start hires the teachers and runs the day-to-day operation, while Aullwood provides the classroom space, visiting naturalists and farmers, and the natural beauty and excitement of its 200 acres of forests, fields, pastures, and ponds.
“We’re building a relationship not just with the children, but also with the families,” says Aullwood Center Director Charity Krueger. “Many of the parents have never been exposed to nature or farming.” The preschool is a boon for the children’s education, and by engaging the newest generation at an age when they are developing their most basic connections, it is ultimately a benefit for birds. “The preschool has definitely exceeded our expectations and is a perfect way to ignite a child’s love for nature."
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