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
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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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!
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