Wednesday, September 22, 2010

School Outreach in Winthrop, WA

Happy first day of autumn! This week we visited seven classrooms, educating more than 200 students, in Winthrop, WA. Winthrop is a small town nestled in the Methow Valley in north central Washington, just outside of the Cascades Mountains. We were pleasantly surprised to see how connected these students are to their natural world. After reading "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv, we learned that children, on average, spend approximately 30 hours a week in front of a screen- TV, video games, internet, cell phones etc. The students we worked with in Winthrop were not in that average by any means. They all shared with us how they rarely watch TV and spend the majority of their free time outdoors! It was such a pleasure to share our stories and experiences with this school district and to hear their stories as well! It is so critical for a child to spend time in the natural world and feel a strong connection with the nature. The Methow Valley School District does an excellent job of embracing this philosophy within their academic world. We learned about their community garden, their recycling and composting programs, and their outdoor trips that the students in this district are involved in. We were truly inspired by this visit and look forward to returning to Winthrop in the future!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

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