Bright Ideas

Antioch New England's In Bloom in Maine a Success!

Betty Olivolo

I attended the first 2016 In Bloom in Maine this past Saturday, which was held at the Eyes of the World Discovery Center in Kittery.  It was a cold, but sunny day and since we all know the value of getting young children outside, much of the day was outside for us hearty adults, too.  The planners initially thought they would have 100 attendees, but managed to make room for about 135—such enthusiasm in our field and shows the obvious need and desire for professional development.  
The morning started with a keynote by David Sobel, “Why 21st Century Children Need Nature,” and then we chose from five morning workshops (Risk Management, Cooking and Eating Outdoors, Forest Classroom in a Modern World, Fairy Houses, and Defining Integrity & Stewardship in Nature Alongside Young Children).  After a delicious buffet lunch and tour of Eyes of the World, Ellen Doris from Antioch and Anne Stires from Juniper Hill School inspired us with an afternoon keynote on “How Nature-based Curriculum Unfolds.”
As in the morning, most of the afternoon workshops were outside and included Literacy in the Forest; One Day, Every Week, All Year, Outside; Math All Around Us; Animal Forms: Movement & Pretend Play; and Bringing Nature Home.  Also included were lots of interesting and inspiring nature-based early childhood activities (poetry, stories, and songs) woven and demonstrated throughout the day!  Such a great way to meet and chat with others in this field, and be inspired to do more and better!
Many thanks to David Sobel and his colleagues at Antioch New England, and to Dawn Jenkins and her staff at Eyes of the World who did a masterful job with logistics. Click here to learn about the upcoming In Bloom in Keene and In Bloom in Vermont! And read a recent article about Eyes of the World. 



conference, David Sobel, professional development, training