Jaime Escalante Early Education Center

Jaime Escalante Early Education Center is located in one of the highest populated and dense incorporated areas in Los Angeles County and our Nature Explore Classroom provides our students with an opportunity to connect with nature.

Our students are able to learn, investigate, and take care of living things such as plants, trees, animals, insects, and some reptiles. Our students explore their five senses throughout their play in our Nature Explore Classroom. They touch leaves, sticks, rocks, and insects, smell the aromas of the flowers, taste the fruits and vegetables they grow, hear the sounds of nature, and see the amazing colors of the rainbow. Our Nature Explore Classroom helps our students with their social-emotional development. Our students take turns watering plants, they share gardening tools, they cooperate when planting seeds, they work together to maintain our environment.

They demonstrate their love of nature when they say they want to stay at school, they want to stay at the “Park”, referring to our Nature Explore Classroom.

What follows are dictations, stories of staff and students as they are in our Nature Explore classroom.

Room 2:
Leonel, “I like planting because I like to see the plant grow”
Teacher: “what do the plants need to grow”
Leonel: “the plants need water because if you don’t put water they will die. That is why I put water in the plants. I get a cup and put water and I out the water in the plants”
Teacher: “how do you feel when you water the plants?”
Leonel: “I feel happy because I like the plants to grow”
Teacher: “how do you feel when the plant is not growing?”
Leonel: “I feel sad because they are not growing because I don’t want them to die”

Room 5 Teacher:
Teacher: “The reason why I take care of the butterflies is because they are endangered and I love the life cycle of a butterfly. Incorporating the care of butterflies in my classroom has helped my mental health as well as my students. In addition, I have seen improvement in my student’s language, care for living things and their social-emotional development”.

Room 6:
Our student was sharing with his teacher what he likes best about our Nature Explore classroom.
Teacher: “What do you like about the Nature Explore classroom”
Michael, “butterflies”
Teacher: “What about butterflies, tell me?”
Michael, “there was an egg then turned into a caterpillar and then they eat a lot of milkweed and then when they eat it they go rest and when they sleep they turn into a cocoon then they get dressed up to be like a butterfly and then they get out of the cocoon and then they turn into a butterfly and fly around”
Teacher: “Is there a specific color that you like?”
Michael: “blue”.

Our Nature Explore Classroom continues to be one of our school features that students, families and staff enjoy the most. It is everyone’s responsibility to teach our young children to care for the earth and students enrolled at our school, gain the foundation for appreciating and respecting nature and our world.