Agraria Center for Regenerative Practices is getting kids outside to learn about their environment
The Agraria Center for Regenerative Practices started The Big Map Out! Program during the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Originally, the idea was to give kids their assignments via Zoom while they sat outside. It was designed to keep kids engaged and learning about science even in a virtual setting.
Now, the Big Map Out! Program has shifted from different backyards to the schoolyard.Central to the program is the map children draw.
They start out drawing a perimeter of the schoolyard, and by the end of the year, they’ll have landmarks on the maps. Spots where they learned about animals, insects, trees, and more.
Celia Montemurri is the youth education manager at Agraria’s Land School, where some of the program is held.
“We are getting those math, English, language arts, social studies, and science standards, as well as social emotional learning standards in an experiential manner," Montemurri said. "So they’re not sitting at their desks doing worksheets. They’re outside involved in the math equation that’s happening with acorns or insects of some sort.”
Montemurri says that she and other educators have noticed a decrease in behavioral problems in children engaged in the program.