For the past few years, Abundance Farm has been integrating outdoor education into the curriculum of the Jewish day school, congregational school, and preschool that are on the campus that it serves.  A Breath of Fresh Air is a two-workshop series which gives us the opportunity to share what we have learned with the broader community, and to help teachers network and learn from each other.  You are invited to register for one or both days.

A delicious, kosher, vegetarian, farm-to-table lunch will be provided at each session.

Touch the Earth and Grow Together

October 21, 2018: 9 am – 12:30pm

For teachers at Early Childhood Centers in the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

Come learn with leading educators in the region while enjoying the Gan Keshet outdoor classrooom and Abundance Farm. Workshops will cover cutting edge outdoor education activities for the early childhood setting, best practices for setting up outdoor classroom spaces, gardening with the youngest ages, and nourishing the spirit in nature. Learning will be hands-on and participatory.

Kasia Beznoska will be leading a special workshop: Inner & Outer Weather: Using Mindfulness To Explore The Process of Change In Nature & Within Our Own Emotions and Feelings.

Although the majority of the day will be for teachers in any early childhood setting, there will be at least one workshop offered for those who work specifically in a Jewish setting, with ideas for better integrating nature learning with the Jewish calendar and Jewish values.

Attendees are eligible for 3.5 professional development training hours.

Click here to view the Facebook event.

Registration

Cost: $25-55 per session, sliding scale

Location: Abundance Farm, 253 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA

Registration is  currently open!

About Our Workshop Teachers

Kasia Beznoska was born and raised in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. She attended Northeastern University where she received her BA degree in Psychology in 2009. Shortly after finishing her undergraduate degree, Kasia continued her studies to get her certificate in Early Childhood Development. In 2010, Kasia became a Certified ChildLight Children's Yoga Teacher and went on to lead children's yoga, mindfulness and art classes, workshops and summer camps for children around NH, VT, and MA. Currently, Kasia is the Director and Head Teacher of Little Swans Preschool, a nature-inspired, play-based preschool program in Sanbornton, NH (part of Sant Bani School). Kasia's passion lies in teaching children about how to tune-in and mindfully care for themselves (even at a young age) because in doing so, they become more aware of how to care for others and the world around them. Getting children outdoors, and expanding their ideas of how to enjoy being in nature is so important these days. On a typical weekend, you can find Kasia practicing yoga; exploring nature with her son: hiking, paddle boarding, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing; enjoying time with friends; playing in her tiny flower garden; and ending the day with a hot cuppa tea!

Cultivating Passionate Learners in Our Jewish Institutions

August 13, 2018: 8:30am – 4:30pm

For teachers at Jewish day schools and congregational schools.

We invite you to come learn with the teachers of Lander Grinspoon Academy, Congregation B'nai Israel, and Abundance Farm. We will be sharing the curriculum we have developed over the last several years of our Jewish gardening and outdoor education initiative. The material is geared to both Judaics and general studies teachers. 

Our workshops are informed by a Project Based Learning approach and integrated Judaics and general studies. There will be a strong emphasis on the Jewish calendar, social justice, and experiential learning. There will be opportunities to network with other teachers and to workshop challenges your school may be facing. This professional development opportunity will be hosted by Nili Simhai, Director of Outdoor Education at Abundance Farm and former Director of Teva.

Click here to view the Facebook event.

In the morning…

TZEDAKA, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND CORE JEWISH CONCEPTS OF CARING COMMUNITY

  • Visit our innovative teen program and community harvest day

  • Explore how to teach ancient Jewish agricultural texts in ways that feel fresh and relevant

  • Learn how to use your garden to cultivate relationships that lead to memberships and enrollment

  • Discuss how to get the larger community involved and connected to your garden

  • Workshop your tzedakah and social initiatives with peers and experts in the field

In the afternoon ….

POWERHOUSE CROPS FOR DEEP JEWISH LEARNING

  • Dive deep into the Jewish calendar with our interactive calendar tool

  • Experience Jewish life and history through just a few easy-to-grow crops

  • Take home ready-to-go lesson plans for K-7 classrooms

  • Network with peers and consult with experts about the best things to grow for your setting

  • Take home a brand new educational poster for your classroom - created by graphic novelist Mat Tonti, and hot off the presses

PLUS, a peek at how we collaborate with teachers so that every outdoor ed lesson meets a core curricular goal in STEM, tefila, literacy, history, or social-emotional development.

Questions? Contact Nili Simhai, nili@abundancefarm.org

This program is funded by a generous grant by the Covenant Foundation, and is co-sponsored by Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Congregation B'nai Israel, and Gan Keshet Preschool.

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