Zasty’s Family Child Care, 731 Rivendell Drive, has earned national recognition as a certified nature explore classroom from the Nature Explore program, which is a division of nonprofit Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

This certification confers on Zasty’s Family Child Care a number of benefits, including membership in an ever-expanding network of more than 450 like-minded spaces nationwide. Certified nature explore classrooms foster highly effective, nature-based outdoor learning.

Owner, Leah Zastoupil’s commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to programs and educators throughout the country.” said Heather Fox, director of communications and outreach for the Nature Explore program. “These spaces inspire hands-on activity, creativity, play and plenty of time exploring the natural world,” she said.

These unique outdoor classrooms offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden or pathway areas, and natural materials for building and creating art. Research consistently shows that children who learn and grow in nature explore classrooms exhibit enhanced concentration, develop creativity and problem solving techniques, manage stress in healthy ways and develop skills across the spectrum of academic and creative learning.

The concept was developed by a team of master educators, landscape architects and researchers in response to the documented growing disconnect between children and nature. The classrooms help fill this void by integrating research based outdoor learning opportunities into children’s daily lives. Classrooms that are designed according to standards and principles described in Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s Learning With Nature Ideas Book are eligible to become certified.

More information about Zasty’s Family Child Care may be found at https://certified.natureexplore.org/zastys-family-child-care/.

More information about Dimensions Educational Research Foundation is available at http://www.dimensionsfoundation.org.

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