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Have you heard about “green hours,” where families get outdoors and enjoy nature, with kids taking the lead on where to go and what to do? PEEC wants kids of all ages to take an active interest in the world of nature.
Kinnikinnick Club, for grades four-six, and Critter Club, for grades one-three, will start October 5 with new teachers: Kristine Coblentz, Susie Schillaci and Elena Gustafson. The clubs will meet from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays in October and November and the first and second Tuesdays in December at PEEC, 3540 Orange St. (behind the high school).
Nature Playtimes have been expanded to reach more kids on more days. Nature Playtime for toddlers (ages 1-3) and Nature Playtime for preschoolers (ages 4-5) will be from 10:30 a.m.-noon every Monday (except holidays) at PEEC. Jessie Ross will keep teaching her Nature Playtime for toddlers and Jocelyn Warner will teach the new Nature Playtime for preschoolers.
Coblentz will lead the K-Club. She has a background in teaching and community building and is especially committed to work that enriches the lives of children and families.
She has lived in the Southwest for over half her life and has grown to love the mountains and deserts, the plants and animals of this region. She loves to spend time with kids, friends, animals and out in nature.
She enjoys gardening, knitting, running, music, art projects, watching birds, tracking animals and having fun. She’s got lots of ideas for K-Club.
Schillaci and Gustafson will teach the C-Club. Schillaci has taught Kindergarten, first grade and second grade in both Santa Fe and Los Alamos.
She enjoys engaging in learning and teaching experiences with young children and believes time spent exploring nature with children is time well spent.
She grew up in Los Alamos doing all of the wonderful things Los Alamos has to offer: hiking, skiing, ice skating and playing in the canyons.
Gustafson grew up in Los Alamos and graduated from Los Alamos High School in 2006. At Whitman College she majored in environmental humanities.
She took incoming freshmen out on camping trips and established a program in Walla Walla, Wash. to bring city kids to the outdoors. In addition to working as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota for the Girl Scouts Discovery Program, Gustafson won two scholarships from the Udall Foundation, working in Arizona taking kids on camping trips into National Parks.
Jessie Ross (Nature Playtime for toddlers) has been teaching Nature Playtimes this past year. She was raised in Los Alamos and is currently making her own homestead in the Jemez Mountains, complete with chickens, ducks and goats.
She majored in biology and minored in geology at Eastern New Mexico University. After working for LANL for several years, she began working at PEEC. Ross enjoys teaching young children about the natural world that surrounds them.
Jocelyn Warner (Nature Playtime for Preschoolers) has a background in art and biology and has taught in Montessori preschools, art classes and camps in Albuquerque and Los Alamos.
She also works for the Valles Caldera, where she shares her love of nature with visitors from around the world.
Warner has a wealth of craft ideas, songs and stories that she’s looking forward to teaching to PEEC kids.
The Critter and Kinnikinnick clubs both have a $30 registration fee ($25 for PEEC members or second siblings in either club). You may register online at www.pajaritoeec.org or in person at 3540 Orange St. Nature Playtimes are free.