The Children's Nature Institute

Rating: 5 stars   5 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Education, Environment

Location: 1910 Magnolia Ave. #403 Los Angeles CA 90007 USA

Mission: The mission of The Children's Nature Institute is to educate children, families, and their communities through interactive experiences with nature and to inspire respect, responsibility and a connection to the natural environment. 

Results: For 27 years, The Children's Nature Institute (CNI) has been at the forefront of the movement to get children outside to learn and explore and in so doing, care about the environment. Since then, we have served more than 300,000 children, their parents and teachers throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. By guiding children in their experience with nature, we are helping them establish the relationship with the environment necessary to be involved with its preservation. CNI works with more than 100 schools, early-education centers and social service agencies to serve more than 10,000 children each year FREE OF CHARGE. Our focus is on reaching children in underserved communities to share with them the wonder of nature as a tool for personal growth, academic achievement and community building.
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.
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.

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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I was invited to attend a film screening and a Q&A with a Nature Film maker at the Children's Nature Institute earlier this month. The screening, attended by the community members and guests of the CNI , and discussion thereafter was a great insight into the meaning of involvement with Nature in people's lives. We learned how families involved in Nature projects in urban surroundings develop a sense of community and other important values in life and the film screening opened up new avenues of awareness for children and adults alike. WELL DONE to the organizers and contributors of the Children's Nature Institute!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with The Children's Nature Institute for about 1 year now. I recently assisted with two nature walks at Temescal Canyon State Park. The kids that attend these walks gain so much from these experiences with nature; from exploring plants and wildlife, to learning about observation -seeing, listening, touching and communicating. The kids gain a respect for our co-habitation with nature which I do believe translates to kinder, giving induviduals later in life. This is a wonderful organization that gives so much.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter and I have been enjoying CNI's family hikes and "Tykes on Trails" for several years now. We feel like we've found a secret gem whenever we attend a hike or event planned by the folks at CNI and have learned so much from all the volunteers at CNI. We want to share the secret - CNI hikes are amazingly informational as well as FUN! (for parent as well as child!) - Therese K.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with The Children's Nature Institute for 16 years. I have been a member of the Board for about 10 years and have held staff positions. My most important role has always been as a docent, working directly with the children. We work with the youngest at-risk, underserved children who have had little or no connection with nature and do not understand their role in the natural world. We work at their schools and on the trail (a first experience for most). Seeing, touching, feeling nature nurtures an understanding and respect that will help them learn and help them respect others and the world around them. Hopefully, we are helping these children grow up to be conscious of the world they live in and their role in protecting the environment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Kids Rock! Music and Eco Fest on June 10, 2012 partnership opportunity - Free event for everyone. They're looking for sponsors for this great event.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?