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Nature's Classroom Institute, the nation's premier environmental education program, creates customized and individual experiences for every teacher and student. 

December 2015

Every Student Succeeds Act Includes
Historic Gains for Environmental Education

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) applauds the Senate passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind. The much-anticipated bill includes language that, for the first time, supports opportunities to provide students with environmental education and hands-on, field-based learning experiences. A companion bill overwhelmingly passed the House in early December.

“The inclusion of environmental education language in the Every Student Succeeds Act signifies an important step forward for teachers and school systems who know what a rich and engaging context the local environment is for learning,” said Judy Braus, Executive Director of NAAEE.

The new language makes EE programs explicitly eligible for funding under Title IV of the bill: Environmental education is called out as eligible for funding under a $1.6B "well-rounded education" grants program.

Shear Perfection

The students will practice methods of improving fruit production and quality. They will prune trees and implement biological pest, fungus, and disease controls. These controls include growing wildflowers and sunflowers to attract beneficial insects and birds, mulching, and creating homemade “pest-catchers.”

Holiday Treats
for the Birds

Students can transform trees in the schoolyard into a holiday buffet! This tradition of providing edible ornaments for birds is a perfect activity to bring nature right to your window.

Some classic items for the holiday feast are chains of popcorn, dried bagels, cranberries, orange slices, and peanuts. Choose a tree within good viewing distance from your classroom window so your kids can watch and identify the feathered guests as they enjoy the treats.

Make Pinecone Bird Feeders

We had a wonderful experience last week at NCI. Our children are sharing their positive feedback about the activities and all the time they have spent there. I am sure they will continue to turn in their experiences of daily adventures for a long time. All the instructors were highly motivated and engaged the students to their full potential.

I would specially like to thank Erica and Sherry for their hospitality and the kitchen staff who accommodated our student needs.

We look forward to visit NCI next year!

Mehreen Alvi
Intercultural Montessori Language School

Restoring Ecological Balance in Yellowstone

We think of wolves as hunters. However, they are a necessary part of many ecosystems. When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995, everything changed. Their presence in the park sparked a chain reaction that would forever modify the animals and even the geography of the land.

Christmas Bird Count

Each year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count mobilizes over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,400 locations across the Western Hemisphere. Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months.

Soil is the New Prozac

It’s official, soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects of anti depressents or the chemical dependency potential. Mycobacterium vaccae has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier.

NCI - Wimberely TX

Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, NCI in Wimberley is just outside of Austin and a convenient destination from most of Texas' major cities.

The camp like atmosphere accommodates housing for up to 85 students, comfortable sleeping quarters, ample bathroom facilities, and a modern retreat center. The Wimberley site is surrounded by 240 acres of rolling terrain, a 5 acre lake, a wealth of oak trees, and dawn-grazing deer.

Explore this NCI location or discover a location near you
Nature’s Classroom Institute        800.574.7881
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