Out & About: Cedar Circle starts Nature Journal Club for kids

  • Julie Loosigian, lead educator at Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center in East Thetford, holds her nature journal. The nonprofit organization has launched a virtual Nature Journal Club for children in the Upper Valley. Photograph courtesy of Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/17/2020 8:58:37 PM
Modified: 4/17/2020 8:58:23 PM

EAST THETFORD — Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center has started a Nature Journal Club for kids to keep them engaged with the outside world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After their in-person programs were canceled due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, Meredith Rivlin, education programs manager, and Julie Loosigian, lead educator, at the East Thetford-based nonprofit organization began brainstorming ways to stay connected with children in the community.

“Everything is just kind of on hold,” Rivlin said.

Each Monday, Rivlin and Loosigian will post a video of a prompt to Cedar Circle’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

On Fridays, the club will meet via Zoom to discuss what they learned. Families who wish to participate should email Rivlin at meredith@cedarcirclefarm.org. Cedar Circle has also launched a pen pal program where kids can write to staff at the farm.

The first prompt for the Nature Journal Club was creating a nature journal out of materials found at home, such as printer paper and rubber bands.

“This is part of the screen-to-green movement,” Rivlin said. “There is still a little bit of screen time with the Zoom videos, but we’re really facilitating from afar.”

The club is directed at elementary school-aged children, but those younger and older are welcome to participate.

“It’s important for everyone to get out and explore,” Rivlin said. “It is something that can be done really anywhere, whether it’s from the inside of your window or out on the sidewalk.”

As of Friday morning, six families with a total of 10 children had signed up.

“We’re facilitating this experience virtually so something that we would do if we were with them would be to ask questions about their surroundings and to help them engage with curiosity and so ultimately environmental stewardship,” Rivlin said. “I hope that they are able to maybe see their setting in a new way.”

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Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

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