This winter, Franklin Park Conservatory began a new partnership with Head Start. Conservatory Educators are visiting Head Start classrooms across Columbus. They’re exploring the natural sciences with 3- to 5-year-olds through fun, hands-on activities inspired by the Conservatory. The program launched in January and we’re already hearing fantastic stories of students investigating and understanding new and complex topics. Ali Greenland, a Conservatory Educator, shared a brilliant moment of learning she observed while teaching students about living and non-living things. Students were asked to classify objects as living or non-living by asking questions like, “Does it move? Does it breathe? Can it make more?” Ali observed a student with a photo of a rainbow ask his friend, “does it eat?” His friend emphatically shook his head, “No.” The students then confidently announced to their classmates that rainbows are, in fact, not living things!
26 Head Start classrooms are participating in the program designed by the Conservatory to support Head Start’s focus on school readiness. We know that young children learn best when given many opportunities to engage with a subject, so the Conservatory has provided a full curriculum of supporting lessons and activities for Head Start teachers to use in between monthly classroom visits. In April, the experience will be capped by a field trip to the Conservatory. Finally, the Conservatory has gifted a free membership to each student’s family, so they can engage everyone in hands-on learning all year long in our biomes and gardens.
Programs like Head Start are only possible thanks to the support of donors like you. You also helped us recover from the pandemic and continue our mission.
Our pilot program runs from January through June 2022— and the Conservatory is already receiving requests to bring the program to more classrooms in 2023! We are grateful to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and Ohio Children’s Foundation whose generous financial support made the first year of our Discovery Head Start program possible!