Saturday, June 13, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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Moretown Elementary School 
940 VT Route 100B
Moretown, VT 05660

Driving Directions 


Peg Smeltz 
Antioch University New England 

Morning Workshops


From Seed to Belly: Literacy with Edible Plants in the Schoolyard
Angie Barger,
Educator & Consultant: The Tea Project; Adjunct Faculty: Castleton University, Castleton, VT

Down and Dirty with Numbers
Brenda Hartshorn, Kindergarten, Moretown Elementary School, VT

Documentation in the Forest Classroom
Jenny Lyle, Preschool Teacher, Moretown VT
Arianna Dayharsh, NBNC Staff and Preschool Teacher, Moretown VT

Real Tools, Real Benefits
Jennifer Newberry and Ashley Morse, Kindergarten Teachers, Marion Cross Elementary School, Norwich, VT

Wet Sneakers + Dirty Clothes = a Day at Crellin School
Dana McCauley, Principal, Crellin Elementary School, Oakland, MD

Slow Birding: Reimagining Our Connection with Birds
Bridget Butler, Bird Diva Consulting, St. Albans, VT

Please read through the workshop descriptions to determine how you would like to spend your day. You will select your workshops during the registration check-in time on the morning of the conference.

Conference Brochure
Workshop Descriptions

Afternoon Workshops


Storytelling:  Making the Magic of Learning Stick
Harriet Hart, Director, Brookfield Early Education Program, Brookfield, VT

Nature-based Programming Through the Grades:  Building a School-wide Scope and Sequence
Eliza Minnucci and Meg Teachout, Forest Kinder, Tunbridge, VT. Eliza is also an Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University New Englan, Keene, NH

Practices to Nurture a Caring Community
Angella Gibbons, Founder and Education Consultant, EarthWalk Vermont, Plainfield, VT

Understanding and Supporting Self-regulation and Executive Functioning in the Outdoor Environment
Kit Harrington, Founder and Former Director, Fiddleheads Forest School, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

The Force of Nature
Susan Koch, 1st grade, Union Elementary School, VT
Jillian Zeilinga,
Kindergarten, East Montpelier Elementary School, VT

Citizen Science in the ECO Classroom
Pam Dow, Karen Cingiser 1st/2nd grade teachers, Moretown Elementary School, Moretown, VT
Zac Cota, North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT

Empowering Children Through Nature Connection in a Head Start Community
Elaina Foxx, Preschool Teacher, Twinfield Union School, Marshfield,VT

Saturday, June 13, 2020

hosted by North Branch Nature Center
at Moretown Elementary School
Moretown, Vermont

Morning Keynote

Nature Preschool in the Urban Wild: Lessons from
the Pacific Northwest

Kit Harrington, Founder and Former Director, Fiddleheads Forest School, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Kit will reflect on her pioneering work at the Fiddleheads Forest School, sharing the story of how socially and culturally responsive outdoor preschool programming came to shape a regional movement for nature-based education. She will discuss the opportunities and challenges of providing a quality early childhood program in a public park setting, focusing on the importance of community and place-based education in outdoor classrooms. By examining the evolving relationship between families, teachers, and the environment, as well as the larger context in which outdoor classrooms operate, Kit will provide a framework upon which teachers and administrators can build.

Kit Harrington is the co-founder of one of the country’s first urban outdoor preschools, the Fiddleheads Forest School at the University of Washington. In 2015, Kit founded the Washington Nature Preschool Association to support the regional growth of nature-based early childhood education. She helped to pass and develop the first licensing regulations for outdoor preschools in North America. Kit was part of the writing team that crafted the field’s first professional practice guidebook, and currently engages in nature-based early childhood education consulting and advocacy, helping to disseminate the practices around the country. She now spends her free time meandering around the backwoods of Vermont with her family in search of the perfect maple creemee.

Afternoon Keynote

Our Journey to Become the Crellin Corps of Discovery

Dr. Dana McCauley, Principal, Crellin Elementary School, Oakland, MD

Crellin Elementary School's journey toward the creation of a learning environment that increased student and community engagement required a community vision and effort. By "taking down the school's walls," students and teachers have discovered unique learning opportunities in the community. A shift in the school's culture has given teachers the freedom to be creative and foster students' curiosities.

Dana McCauley has served as the teaching principal of Crellin Elementary School in Oakland, Maryland for the past eighteen years. As the instructional leader at Crellin Elementary School she coordinates and monitors a learning program that guides students to achieve and sustain academic and personal success. Uncer her direction, Crellin Elementary School participated in a reclamation project that led to the creation of their Environmental Education Laboratory, consisting of a 5.5-acre outdoor classroom on school property. In addition, the schoolyard is the home of the Sunshine Farm, which houses sheep, goats, chickens, multiple gardens and a greenhouse. These unique school features serve as resources for instruction, place-based projects and student research. McCauley holds a B.S. and M.Ed. from Frostburg State University in Maryland and an Ed.D. from West Virgina University.

Registration Fees:

Working Individual                                  $125
Group Rate:                                            $100
(per person, group of three from same school/org)
AUNE Alumni/Co-sponsors:                     $75
AUNE and College ED or ES Students:   $50