Community Papers

Forest school planned for fall

Happy Hours Preschool is planning a new and quite unique program for September.

The all outdoors Forest School will begin a pilot program in September.

“Getting outside is essential to who we are as human beings, physically and mentally, yet today’s children are spending so little time outside that the phrase “Nature Deficit Disorder” is becoming more widely used,” says Zuri Scrivens, founding member and lead visionary for Happy Hours Preschool.

“The increasing trend towards a more tech-connected world and my desire for a stronger connection to the environment for my son are what planted the seeds to create the first Forest School in Langley,” she says.

Forest school curriculum is largely emergent, child-directed, and play-based. The ethos of forest school allows learners the time and space to develop their interests, skills, and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences. At a forest school, children have the freedom to explore, play, build, create, imagine, and use their senses to experience the outdoor environment and engage with one another.

Sustainability is woven into the culture of the classroom, and as nature becomes a teacher, sustainability becomes the foundation on which both children and teachers stand.

Scrivens says the new forest school program will serve to reconnect children with the ever-changing environment, while creating a base of knowledge surrounding the importance of community and sustainability. The first of its kind in the Fraser Valley, the school plans to meet children’s needs for self-esteem, leadership skills, and Kindergarten readiness, in addition to offering alternative preschool options.

Parenting blogs and magazines have been covering the need for more outdoor play, and Happy Hours Preschool is following through.

“There are limitless opportunities here to enrich the preschool experience for our kids in a truly down to earth kind of way. This school will fill the gap in our culture that has disconnected us from our outside world while also creating something new and exciting in our community,” says Sherri Thorpe, president of Happy Hours Preschool.

“I think this program will be a great fit for my son. He’s active, and learns through doing, I believe he will excel in this environment,” says parent Jami Savage.

The pilot program will start in September and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.  in a variety of locations, with the majority being in Willoughby, Walnut Grove and Fort Langley. Those interested can  visit or call 604-888-8555.

Happy Hours Preschool is a play-based preschool in Fort Langley. It helps develop and nurture values that will prepare children for their Kindergarten experience — socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually.



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