Research shows that children learn best when they participate in real-life, hands-on activities. The formal name for those experiences is Experiential Education and the Ganaraska Forest Centre is extremely proud to be entering its 40th year of engaging children in this type of learning.
Experiential learning fosters student engagement by creating relevant experiences that spark student curiosity and inspire them to follow their passions. Immersed learning for students of all ages, leads to broader subject understanding and provides psychological and social benefits, including increased self-esteem, higher motivation and the development of leadership skills. Students are more successful when they can connect what they are learning to real-life situations that they care about. In this way, the natural world also benefits. Children that play outdoors are more connected to nature and lean toward life-long interest in outdoor physical pursuits, adventure and nature appreciation and conservation.
Each of the 26 different outdoor education programs, taught by the centre’s Ontario-certified teaching staff, provides opportunities for students to be fully engaged in the outdoor activities the visiting schools select. For example, programs such as Animal Adaptations, investigate different species, habitat, the way animals behave, and the differences between predators and prey, allowing students to deeply explore the intricacies of animal survival. As well, the regular development of new programs reflect current practices and the use of modern, practical technology, such as GPS/GIS, or the newly expanded Specialist High Skills Major program for high school students.
The Forest Centre is a non-profit organization that relies on the support of the local community to ensure resources are available to run its programs. Members of the public are invited to learn more and to help support the education program by attending the 29th annual Ganaraska Forest Centre fundraising dinner and auction, this year scheduled for April 14, 2018 at the Cobourg Lions Centre. Please call 905-885-8173 for more information about the fundraiser or the education programs offered at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.