One of Wyoming’s most valuable resources is the rich environment in which we live. Diverse in its landscapes, flora and fauna, climates, and history- our state offers an incredible learning environment for our children to explore. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is launching the Get Wild, Wyoming initiative to tear down the walls of Wyoming classrooms so kids can get wild through nature-based education.
Take a look at the Get Wild, Wyoming webpage to learn more about the positive effects of spending time outdoors. You can also find ideas for outdoor learning activities and tips to enhance mental and physical wellness while spending time outside. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to receive regular updates through those channels.
“Growing up in Wyoming with my family having a ranch, I was fortunate to develop a passion for the great outdoors while hunting, fishing and climbing. I am a firm believer in the role that activity and the outdoors play in supporting mental, educational, and emotional wellbeing; and I am passionate about ensuring every child in Wyoming has access to these benefits. This initiative with some of our Wyoming preschools is the first step in those efforts,” says State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Megan Degenfelder.
A total of 14 classrooms at six Pre-K sites, including Basic Beginnings in Laramie, Natrona County Child Development Center in Casper, Sweetwater County Child Development Center in Green River, Teton Literacy Center in Jackson, and Evanston Child Development Center in Evanston, have joined the WDE to receive packages with goodies from the WDE and our statewide partners that encourage healthy learning and exploring outdoors.
The WDE is giving participating pre-K sites wagons filled with water bottles, sunglasses, sun shades, bug spray, and first aid kits to ensure their students can enjoy time outside safely. Wyoming State Parks will provide students with Junior Ranger passports, events focused on children and families, and special tours that families can request; Wyoming Game and Fish is sharing scratch and find scavenger hunt booklets and prizes for those who complete the activity; and the Wyoming Department of Health is providing sunscreen.
“We wanted to start this initiative because outdoor education creates the perfect setting for learning in all content areas. Unstructured time outdoors promotes creativity, curiosity and refines executive functioning skills all while breathing in fresh air. Research shows that stress and depression are lower in people that spend more time outside, so it makes sense to get our kids outside more,” says Amy Reyes, a State Early Learning Specialist with the WDE. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our youngest learners to get out and see the natural resources Wyoming has to offer. I am so excited to see this come together.”
For more information contact Amy Reyes, Early Learning Specialist at 307-777-7708 or email@example.com.