Science comes alive through Center’s Ecology & Me program


Within the framework of the Ecology & Me program modeled at the Center, children are introduced to and engage in projects and lessons derived from a number of interconnecting fields including horticulture, health and nutrition, environment, math and science.

For example, good health and nutrition set the stage for prime development. A child must first be in good health before he/she is able to engage in a meaningful way with the world around him/her. This truth paired with the natural kinship between ecology, math and science, and the earth’s role in providing nourishment create the foundation upon which the Ecology & Me program was built. The learning enabled by this particular scope of study is furthered by the development of new language and approaches to learning that occur as a result of the introduction of new, ecologically-related topics.

Currently, with seed money provided by Jayne and Leonard Abess, the Center’s Ecology & Me program is in the developmental stages beginning with the growing of a learning garden. This garden provides a living laboratory for children ages 0-5 while serving as demonstration model for early care centers and educators throughout the community and beyond.

Children and teachers are literally seeing the first fruits of the Ecology & Me program. Following a parent planting project in which the foundation was laid for the Abess Family Learning Garden, children have begun exploring the garden while learning about the many different vegetable varieties found within this living laboratory. Teachers are thrilled with the chance to promote nature as a context for learning and are leading children in activities such as preparing salads made from the cucumbers and other vegetables found in their garden.