Antioch University New England and Marion Cross School announce a free public screening of the short documentary “The Best Day Ever” on Thursday, December 7th from 6pm-7pm at 22 Church Street in Norwich, Vermont. The film reveals the magic going on in local public school kindergartens where teachers take their students outdoors one full day every week, all year, in any weather.
Inspired by European Forest Kindergartens, a handful of teachers in the Upper Valley began dedicating one day-per-week to nature-based play and learning five years ago. The idea, since featured on National Public Radio and on The Atlantic Education blog, has caught the attention of parents and educators nationwide. Regionally, dozens of classrooms now spend frequent time in wild spaces, cooking over campfires, and learning and playing in all weather.
The Nature Based Early Childhood program at AUNE trains teachers, administrators, and founders of nature preschools and forest kindergartens.
“The Best Day Ever” takes you to two Upper Valley schools: Marion Cross (Norwich, VT) and Hartland Elementary (Hartland, VT). In the film, you hear from teachers, administrators, parents, and students, and get an intimate view of the hands-on learning happening in the forests beyond our local school playgrounds.
The film, made possible with support from the George B. Storer Foundation, follows a well-received set of case studies of Forest Day programs at Mount Lebanon School (NH), Hartland Elementary (VT) and Ludlow Elementary (VT).
The Thursday evening premiere will include discussion following the film. Filmmaker Chris Hardee, teachers featured in the film, and author David Sobel will be present. Come see how dedicated teachers are changing the trajectory of public school kindergarten by bringing joy and wonder back into education through the experience of playing in nature.
Regional schools pursuing Forest Day programming include: Lyme Elementary, Blue Mountain Union, Strafford Creative Preschool, The Newton School, Tunbridge Central School, Sharon Elementary, The Ottauquechee School, Albert Bridges, Mount Lebanon School, Ludlow Elementary, Rochester Elementary, Bradford Elementary, Barnard Elementary, and Woodstock Elementary.