Little did the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative (KRC) know when it launched the theme for the year of 2020, “Nature is Our Teacher” would our community be experiencing the breadth of this message during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In exploring how families help their young children maximize their experiences for mind and holistic development, nature was identified as the greatest teacher. In this Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative promotion, the following premises are lifted up:

• Nature provides nourishing energies for the body, mind, and spirit. Earth, air, fire and water support our very life and all living organisms. Beauty of color, shape, texture and diversity of life stimulate the senses, lifts the spirit and evokes a sense of awe and wonder.

• Nature is available to all economic groups.

• Nature provides an essential balance of experiences with the current overdose of technology.

• Nature evokes curiosity and creativity and builds the learning mind for formal education. The cycle of knowledge and learning for an individual is self-driven; therefore, students need to learn to follow their natural curiosities. (From the book---Prepared by Diane Tavenner)

• Nature brings an awareness of our kinship with the earth and our responsibility of caring for the earth and each other.

• Nature is universal.

KRC Core Purpose

To promote “Families Engaging Nature” in a way that it becomes a community-wide investment, in a way that all children and families experience the importance of spending time with nature for nourishing the body, mind and spirit.

KRC Core Process

Growing the number of Kennett area agencies, groups and volunteers, who will take on a specific role to benefit the goal of “Families Engaging Nature” as a collaborative effort.

KRC Core Value

Kindergarten readiness and healthier families.

In the past three weeks of being under quarantine, respect for what one miniscule element of nature can create in our world is a shock beyond belief. Andyet, we are under its power and are humbly learning about COVID-19 and its global impact! Regardless of what we believe about how humans impact nature, we do know that nature has dealt with many polluting effects and more importantly, we have not seen ourselves in a reciprocal relationship with nature.

During this sobering time, lessons learned from this crisis are a platform for us to start working and the gift of nature is becoming more deeply felt. Being penned up in one’s home for weeks creates a hunger to get outside and breathe fresh air and experience natural elements. This spring time of year presents the magic of nature, as it sprouts from the soil, bursts into tree blossoms and everything is filled with chlorophyll green.

Planting a family garden; signing up for a raised bed at Anson B Nixon Park, or creating a patio box of herbs were all ideas that KRC started to identify as ways for families to get closer to nature. We hope to carry this on after the pandemic.

Hikes at our many appointed locations starting with Anson B Nixon Park and learning more about the Southern Chester County Land Conservancy (TLC) trails are on the exploring nature list. Nature provides a great classroom/play yard. Keeping the six feet social distancing is easily possible, while the flow of fresh air dissipates infectious spray. This can happen in our own backyards as we honor the “sheltering in place” directive.

While much of nature needs to be healed, nature is also the constant “giver” that is offering us healing during this time of being quarantined. Getting outside is the relief of the day. We all have yards and areas that we can walk and making this move brings about an essential balance to our lives.

Now is the time we may more deeply experience and appreciate nature. Now is the time that we may feel our relationship as one and are saying “thank-you”Mother Earth, Brother Sun and Sister Moon.

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