Growing Up Wild in Central Washington with Award-Winning Nature-Based STEM Program

By Shelley Seslar
Managing Director, North Central Educational Service District

NCESD1On April 14, as Phase 1 of our STEM project came to a close and Phase 2 took off, North Central ESD presented the fruits of our labor to our partner, Child Care Aware of Central Washington, as proposed in our Thrive STEM grant application with a staff orientation session and the delivery of 15 early-learner STEM kits.

Our support material kits for check-out to Early Achievers-enrolled providers trained by Child Care Aware

Our support material kits for check-out to Early Achievers-enrolled providers trained by Child Care Aware

Our Phase 1 work has been to develop supplemental material kits and a training-for-trainers to support the implementation of the award-winning early childhood STEM program, Growing Up Wild. Our kit came to include:

  • Selected learning materials
  • A welcome binder of selected lesson instructions for providers
  • The Growing Up Wild full teacher manual
  • Original music to accompany the selected STEM lesson activities
  • A “teacher set” of literacy materials that can be checked out from our regional library partner, North Central Regional Library

With Phase 2 now in full implementation with our Child Care Aware partner, these STEM kits are being loaned out to Early Achiever-enrolled childcare providers through our Child Care Aware partner’s lending library following a training orientation for providers for STARS credits. Technical Assistants will then coach providers on using the materials in their settings. We have already heard glowing reviews shared between providers on their Facebook page, “Preschool/Daycare Wenatchee Resource.”

The Growing Up Wild guide costs $24.95 plus shipping through the website. We also have the list of our kit materials available for those interested in replicating them to support the Growing Up Wild guide. We estimate that our supplemental kits cost $400/set to replicate, and we have materials to copy for a binder and original music recordings for a DVD/thumb drive in each kit as well. We are happy to work with anyone interested in replicating this project. Please contact me at .

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