With continuing support from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, ANS delivers its GreenKids Budding Scientists pre-K program to Title I public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland.
This innovative program provides students with outdoor explorations of their schoolyards and ANS’s Woodend Sanctuary to engage them in the natural world and promote school readiness and environmental stewardship. Budding Scientists also delivers training and support for teachers and encourages parent participation.
A "Grow Up Great” grant from the PNC Foundation provided funding for ANS to launch Budding Scientists. During the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 academic years, GreenKids worked with six Title I schools in Montgomery County Public Schools, and reached approximately 700 students in 35 classrooms.
GreenKids educators led 68 schoolyard nature explorations where students learned about observation tools they always carry with them (their senses), how to move quietly while making observations, and ways to silently signal their peers.
GreenKids educators also led 14 field trips to Woodend Sanctuary where students, teachers and parents explored forest, meadow and pond habitats. Explorations featured hands-on sensory investigations. More than 125 parents participated in the Woodend field trips.
ANS provided a bilingual English-Spanish handout with talking points to help parents and children discuss what they had observed, guidance on observing and asking questions about the natural world, and suggestions for parks and nature centers for families to visit.
Professional development for classroom teachers and para-educators was incorporated into the Budding Scientists program through training workshops, and co-teaching and lesson modeling. Each teacher was given a "Teachable Tote" Activity Bag with outdoor lesson plans and supplies.
Glen Haven Elementary
Harmony Hills Elementary
Jackson Road Elementary
New Hampshire Estates Elementary
Rolling Terrace Elementary
GreenKids Budding Scientists reached the schools’ half-day and full-day programs, and served pre-K, Head Start, and special needs students.