Cornerstone Center for Early Learning

Introducing different natural environments to children can help them think beyond their immediate surroundings and build well-rounded perspectives. Nature-based learning and education improves a child’s academic performance and critical thinking. Cornerstone Center offers the naturalistic experience of the outdoors by further bridging over into the classroom. We are developing the future ambassadors of this planet.

Classrooms at Cornerstone Center were mindfully transformed into soothing and welcoming spaces. As a way to allow nature to aid children with trauma, we removed a majority of plastic manipulatives and replaced them with loose parts and additional natural resources. A lesson plan about birds includes a sensory table with fake worms, a stuffed goose for a hands-on experience with a realistic animal of the wild and a container of real worms for the children to touch while offering them back to the garden.

Since nature provides many lifelong benefits across physical health, mental health, and academic competency. Cornerstone Center hopes to further transform our infant/toddler playground into a certified infant/toddler playscape in 2024. An early partnership with nature equates to earlier awareness and acceptance.

Cornerstone Center for Early Learning believes it is possible to maintain these high standards by offering continuous training to our educators. Three educators from different age groups experienced nature in a special way by attending the Leadership Institute Conference in the summer of 2023. I am filled with joy when I see them smile and hear in their joyful voices how the experience impact their lives and the way they want to educate children. Here is a direct quote from one of these educators after returning from this year’s conference; “I think the main thing I got out of it is ‘saying yes’ and trying to not focus on the product but rather the experience. Basically, rethinking all the things we think we can’t do and finding a way to do them. Keeping it simple and letting the kids lead the experience more towards what interests them”.

Cornerstone Center for Early Learning commits to offering other educators the Leadership Institute Experience while continuing to facilitate future natural ambassadors.