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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, nature-based 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 9 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 participate in wraparound arts and discovery activities, listen to stories, and play age-appropriate games to reinforce concepts gleaned from nature-based learning.

To tie-in and reinforce learned concepts, organized field trips for all the students from each Head Start site are held to bring the students directly into the live lab of the Conservatory. Each field trip is led by an FPC educator, and concepts learned in the classroom are further developed and brought to life.  Additionally, specialized events are held at the Conservatory to further engage families outside of the classroom, such as the fall RISE Literacy Fair, the spring Pathways to Kindergarten Success event, and a parent appreciation event. By connecting families, teachers, and students to the Conservatory through a multitude of ways, this program supports Head Start’s goals and further enhances FPC’s mission to connect the community to nature.

The FPC Head Start Discovery program works directly in collaboration with the Child Development Council of Franklin County (CDCFC), who runs Head Start and curriculum is developed to be strategically aligned with both Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards and Head Start’s curriculum.

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

 Ohio Children’s Foundation