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Farm Fun Day Care in Andover Township Opens New Jersey’s First Certified Nature Explore Classroom

09/19/07

For more information, contact

Arbor Day Foundation
Sean Barry

For more information, contact:
Woody Nelson, 888-448-7337


Nebraska City, Neb. (Sept. 19, 2007) – Farm Fun Day Care in Andover Township, N.J., today announced the opening of a certified Nature Explore Classroom. The official dedication of the Classroom is planned for Oct. 3.

Farm Fun Day Care is the first certified Nature Explore Classroom to be constructed in New Jersey, and is the third to be constructed in the nation. The first Nature Explore Classroom is located in the Arbor Day Farm® Tree Adventure™ attraction, the Arbor Day Foundation’s interactive conservation venue in Nebraska City, Neb.

Nature Explore Classrooms are part of the Nature Explore Program, a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
Developed in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature, Nature Explore Classrooms are designed to help fill the void by educating young children using research-based principles for integrating nature into their daily learning.

These Classrooms offer interactive elements – including climbing structures, musical instruments made of natural materials, wooden blocks, small waterways, and natural materials for building and creating art – that give children important and inspiring nature experiences. While connecting children with nature, such unstructured play and activities are shown to enhance concentration, develop creativity and problem-solving, relieve stress, and improve skills in many areas.

Outdoor classrooms that are designed according to principles and standards described in the Learning With Nature Idea Book are eligible to become certified Nature Explore Classrooms.

Farm Fun Day Care’s Nature Explore Classroom is on a 20-acre farm located at 27 Pierce Road in Andover Township, and also includes a tree nursery and four child-oriented gardens. In the new Nature Explore Classroom, children can create visual masterpieces in a nature art area, climb and crawl on structures, build with natural materials, and practice their balance, agility, and creativity in areas designed for music and movement.

“The Nature Explore Classroom is the ideal tool to provide children with meaningful connections to nature,” said Linda Grinthal, owner and director of Farm Fun Day Care. “One of the best aspects of the classroom is that it gives children a positive hands-on experience with nature and the outdoors in a structured setting.”

“Farm Fun Day Care has taken an important leadership role in a profoundly needed initiative to connect young children with nature, setting a wonderful example for child care facilities across the country,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Everyone at the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation appreciate the commitment Farm Fun Day Care has made to the Nature Explore program and the role that nature plays in the lives of young children.”

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About Farm Fun Day Care: Farm Fun Day Care offers a fun and educational alternative to traditional day care, pre-school and other specialized children’s programs. Farm Fun Day Care is a state-registered, fully insured, CPR-certified member of the American Federation of Daily Care Services and is located on 20 acres of farmland that offers breathtaking views of nature, and a self-contained nature classroom. Farm Fun Day Care can be reached at (973) 579-7382.

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation: Dimensions Educational Research Foundation was formed in 1998 to study how science, math and literacy learning can be enhanced by the addition of more visual-spatial activities into classrooms and homes. For a number of years, the Foundation has conducted and collected research on how children best develop visual-spatial skills and how teachers and families can optimally support this development. Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s goal is to create and deliver unique educational programming to 1) Help people better understand and appreciate the natural world by developing visual-spatial skills; and 2) Improve science, math and literacy learning through visual-spatial skills.