Nature is a wonderful teacher.

We partner with schools to help kids learn nature’s valuable lessons.

We do so because of the positive social-emotional effects that come from experiencing the outdoors. Numerous studies show that exposure to nature has a positive impact on the health and emotional well-being of children of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Our current focus is on three impactful school-based programs for 2nd-6th grade students.

2nd- 4th Grade: Classroom Outdoor Connection Kits that specialize in Social Emotional Learning

Footpath Outdoor Connection Kits are now specific to classroom needs and social emotional development for our elementary school students. Our kits help students develop skills such as:

- Reframing negative thoughts and engaging in positive self-talk

- Develop, implement and model responsible decision and critical thinking skills & Identify    potential outcomes to help make constructive decisions

- Regulate emotions and behaviors by using thinking strategies that are consistent with brain    development

- Recognize, identify and empathize with the feelings and perspectives of others

- Persevere through challenges and set-backs in school and lifeDevelop and maintain positive    relationships

Learn more about each kit and select your favorite Classroom Outdoor Connection Kit here

5th grade ‘Outside Discovering Me!’ 

‘Outside Discovering Me!’ was created to reach children with inequitable access to nature.

Footpath Foundation developed this program to meet the needs of our children based on collected data and observations made during Footpath camps, field trips and after-school programming over the last five years.

‘Outside Discovering Me!’ was developed to connect children to the outdoors and incorporates three elements in each lesson: science education, outdoor activity, and social emotional development.

Each lesson includes a fun outdoor activity that aligns to educational standards and uses nature to develop social emotional learning through the experience.

Science is inevitably present whenever one is outside, so every lesson easily aligns to science educational standards. All lessons also align to standards for language arts for non-fiction text and some lessons even align to mathematics standards as well. This focus on educational alignment to standards allows educators to use the program during regular school hours. While students are learning academics they are also developing their social emotional skills.

Each class will have the opportunity to attend a “Day at Camp” in May to give students an outdoor day full of fun and social emotional development. 

Our program is proving successful. Educators and after-school leaders report enjoying using 'Outside Discovering Me!' and see the positive impact it has for students. Some even report higher standardized test scores.

6th Grade- ‘Discover Your Path’

This program is specifically designed for our 6th grade students because we know that transitioning into the teen and middle school years is a critical time for social emotional development. 

‘Discover Your Path' program includes:

1) Outside Discovering Me! Curriculum: (see above)

- 8 lessons complete with a Teacher’s Guide. Each lesson meets Science standards, ELA standards and SEL standards. Some meet other standards like math and technology as well.

- Storage Bin full of needed materials

- Personal introduction and  professional development for educators. As well as the opportunity to earn up to 2 CEUs at no cost.

2) Outdoor Discovery Day - An outside field trip day with fun adventures that meet science, literacy and social emotional learning standards. This trip reinforces what was or will be learned in our school curriculum.

3) Overnight CAMP! - All 6th graders in the program will go on a 3 day/2 night  overnight camp experience in the Spring.  The camp experience gives children the opportunity to practice their developmental skills and relationship skills while having fun and learning outdoors. 

Please note: These trips are currently for children located in the Northeast Ohio region.

Contact Us

If you are interested in any our School-Based programs please contact Mary Macias for more information.

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