Union Memorial School will host an all-day Four Winds Day event on Tuesday, May 24, the culminating activity for this year’s Four Winds program.
Formerly ELF (Environmental Learning for the Future), Four Winds is a school-year-long program coordinated and taught by parent volunteers in collaboration with Four Winds Nature Institute (FWNI). FWNI is a nonprofit organization offering community-based programming for children and adults that encourages learning about and exploring nature and connecting people to the natural world. Through education and hands-on experiences with the natural environment, the organization hopes to provide the knowledge necessary to thoughtfully address the environmental challenges we face as a global community. (For more information about Four Winds Nature Institute, please visit www.fourwindsinstitute.org.)
Each year’s programming has a theme for the year and includes different theme-related topics for each month. The students participate in a variety of activities to learn about nature, going outside to experience nature whenever possible. UMS’s theme this year has been cycles in nature, including the life cycles of insects, trees, and birds, and May 24’s Four Winds Day will focus upon dandelion cycles. The day will include a school-wide puppet show, and the students will rotate through four stations—learning the parts of a dandelion, taking dandelions apart, looking at the cycle of a dandelion, and participating in a dandelion hunt. Completing the stations will take approximately one hour, so students will follow their normal schedules for the majority of the day, and the stations will be staffed all day so that all students may participate. Weather permitting, the entire event will be held outside.
Union Memorial School, Porters Point School, and Malletts Bay School all have Four Winds programs. Interested in volunteering in the Four Winds program in your school? Parent volunteers can attend monthly training offered by trainers from FWNI and sponsored jointly by the school district and the PTO. No prior science knowledge or experience is necessary, and all information required to teach the program to students is provided during the workshop. Training workshops are the first Tuesday of every month (except December) at the Meeting House next to Burnham Memorial Library (on Route 2A), from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. For more information, please contact your school to be put in touch with your school’s coordinator.