Local preschool teachers can attend a free "Discover Nature Schools" workshop in Columbia on Nov. 18, hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Registration for the workshop closes Nov. 16.
MDC Conservation Education Consultant Kim Cole said teachers who go to training will receive a binder of seasonally focused activities for students. Cole said the activities are "all very hands on."
She said the preschool portion of MDC's five curriculum-unit Discover Nature Schools program is meant to "introduce young learners not just to nature but to some ideas and concepts around conservation," like how even young people play a role in the natural world and how to care for the environment.
The curriculum is also a way to get teachers to understand the world outside is not only for students' recess. "Our goal is also to get our teachers comfortable to do outdoor learning," she said.
"Learning in nature benefits children in several ways, such as improving physical and mental health, raising standardized test scores and reducing attention-deficit problems," she said in an earlier news release.
The Nov. 18 workshop will specifically prepare early childhood teachers to teach "Nature Revealed," a construct-based unit for preschool.
The MDC's Central Regional Office at 3500 East Gans Road in Columbia will host the workshop from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Discover Nature Schools program provides no-cost curriculum units to teachers and schools in the state, from grades preschool through 12. Every school district and about 40 percent of schools in the state participate.