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The Conservatory’s Head Start Discovery program is focused on supporting early childhood education for low-income children and their entire families, while also creating opportunities for professional development for educators. The Conservatory’s experienced team of trained educators have developed an age-appropriate curriculum for children ages 3-5 that exposes them to STEAM concepts, planting the seeds for a lifelong love of learning.

Classroom sessions, which take place on-site in 10 Head-Start locations throughout Columbus, are built around a sound developmental framework, made fun and exciting through hands-on experiences. Children learn about growing edible plants and do wraparound arts and discovery activities, listen to stories, and play age-appropriate games to reinforce concepts gleaned from nature-based learning.

This learning is reinforced through an organized field trip for all the students from each Head Start site and additional, specialized events like ‘Pathways to Kindergarten Success’ and Literacy Kickoff event, both held at the Conservatory and geared towards Head Start children and families. The positive impacts of a nature-based education are numerous and research-backed.


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?” Our educator 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!

With Support From

 Columbus Kiwanis Foundation and Ohio Children’s Foundation