What is Forest Friday?
Starting about 7 years ago, I started taking my students outside. We went outside to experience and learn more about nature. We started taking trips around Evamere and over to the arboretum next to McDowell. With each year we broadened our Forest Friday range to include Bicentennial Woods park. This park has an outdoor classroom space and a stream. Often we find redback salamanders, families of deer frolicking through the forest and a plethora of other wildlife. Forest Friday became a time for students to experience nature uninterrupted on their own terms. It quickly became apparent that not only were the students benefiting from this experience, but so too were the parents joining us. Often parents would express how they had forgotten about what it felt like to be in and play in the woods. How much joy these experiences brought to their own childhoods growing up and how these experiences in nature have stuck with them all these years. So while we do focus on learning experiences during our Forest Fridays, we have found that the greatest things students gain from their Forest Friday is a core fundamental experience and memory of finding joy in nature that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.