The Children's Nature Institute Overview
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Target demographics: Low-income children in the Greater Los Angeles Area between 0-8 years old.
Direct beneficiaries per year: The children we educate are predominately Hispanic, African-American, and Asian. Many are learning English as a second language. We also provide our programs to children living in shelters and children with special needs, including those who are confined to wheelchairs, vision- or hearing-impaired, or emotionally disturbed.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: lead young children on a nature walk; teach young children about environmental stewardship, native plants, and animals; help in the office with administration, education, research, communications, events, public relations, marketing, community outreach, member development, and technology.
Geographic areas served: CNI serves children in Los Angeles's lowest-income and lowest-performing schools. Schools we routinely work with are located in Pico-Union, Koreatown, East Los Angeles, Inglewood, South Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Watts and other underserved areas throughout Los Angeles County.
Programs: The Children's Nature Institute (CNI) fills the unique niche of providing transformational experiences in nature to children during their most formative years, 0-8. While there is evidence to support a direct correlation between environmental education and academic achievement, startlingly, a high percentage of the children we serve have never explored the beach or wandered in a forest.
In addition to stimulating curiosity about the natural world and fostering feelings of empathy for living things, CNI's hands-on and highly interactive curriculum helps children develop fundamental building blocks for gaining knowledge about science, math, reading and problem-solving.