What are some of your favorite summer memories? If you’re like me, summer mostly consisted of playing video games until your mom forced you to go play outside. But, you know, after that: making mud pies, catching lightning bugs, learning about plants and wondering why ants march in a line.
Nature-based educational programs are gaining popularity, and Nonnie’s Village — the new preschool and day care facility at the former Canby Utility Building on Northwest 1st Avenue — is getting in on the trend.
“Imagine your child spending much of their day outside, playing and learning in a less formal, more intuitive environment — one where they are encouraged to get dirty and discover new things about the world around them,” said Stephanie Whitmore, owner and director Nonnie’s Village, whose name and guiding philosophy were inspired by her grandmother.
Studies have shown that an academic preschool can boost a child’s math and reading abilities before starting primary school, Whitmore said, and these are things that kids can learn “without being stuck inside all day.”
“If you feel that your child needs a helping hand before school starts this fall, or you just want them to have a fun, outdoor summer experience, please email or call us for enrollment information,” Whitmore said. “We have limited space and encourage you to sign up now!”
The Summer Nature program runs from July 5 through Aug. 31, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Breakfast and a morning snack are included.
Though Whitmore grew up in Virginia, she spent her summers at Nonnie’s farm in Beavercreek, learning to cook and can.
“She was just the most wonderful person who ever lived, as far as I’m concerned,” Whitmore told The Canby Current last October. “She always took in kids, whenever anybody needed help. She loved children, and I learned so much from her about community and helping people.”
Those lessons will play a central role at Nonnie’s Village — which carries the motto “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”
“The community, helping each other, that’s what we’re all about,” Whitmore says. “I love Canby, and we’re so glad to be able to start this model here, which we hope to create in other towns as well.”
Photos courtesy Nonnie’s Village:
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