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Ecological Identity: Developing an Ethic of Care Toward the Natural World

“Our work as educators is to support children’s unfolding into place and the opening of their hearts to the Earth” (Pelo, 2014, p.5).

As the cold snowy weather begins to dissipate and the warm sunny weather approaches, it appears as though increasing numbers of “outsiders” begin to pillage our special place known to many at KOLTS as our forest school site. The children at KOLTS have come to know the land so intimately that they take notice of the signs indicating that others have been there. The children and educators spend so much time in this area that they pay careful attention to seasonal changes and the effects weather has on the trees, the ground and the water. The children’s play and exploration is deep and meaningful and it can be upsetting to discover that a structure they had built has been altered and things have not been left as they were. Therefore, children cannot seamlessly continue the work they had begun during their previous visit. Continue reading “Ecological Identity: Developing an Ethic of Care Toward the Natural World”

A Day in the Forest

It was a cold snowy day in the forest when 25 Seneca students made their way to KOLTS FNS area to explore, engage and wonder. Although the day was cold and lacked the sunshine that many of us crave, the students filled the forest with warmth and light. We gathered around our fire pit to acknowledge our land’s connection to our indigenous peoples. We spoke of its importance and sent out thanks.   Continue reading “A Day in the Forest”

Relationships

By: Emma Charan Greenfield, Student Ambassador, First Peoples Office 

We are on the territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations which is made up of seven First Nations who have cared for, and continue to care for, this land. It is an honour to be a guest on this land and we recognize our responsibility as Treaty People as one of reciprocity and mutual respect. Continue reading “Relationships”

Wrapping up 2018

Fran DeFilippis RECE

The latter part of this year has been transformative for KOLTS. It began with Pam’s retirement and my shift to Director of KOLTS, and continues with an environmental transformation of our learning spaces. I am grateful for Pam’s work in preparing us for these inspired changes and aim to honour her legacy by working together to fulfill our shared vision for KOLTS. 

Continue reading “Wrapping up 2018”

United by water

On November 1st we honoured the water that brings life to all living things. We gathered with First peoples@seneca who shared their teachings and ways of being while surrounded by our youngest citizens from Newnham, Denison and KOLTS childcare, their families, and the greater Seneca community.

As we develop relationships with the land our love for the earth deepens.

– DeFilippis

Continue reading “United by water”

Land Acknowledgment Ceremony Friday October 5th, 2018

This morning all the Toddlers, Preschoolers, JKSK children, some parents and some Seneca students attend a special ceremony. When we arrive at our Forest School Classroom, we all gather round the fire. The Toddlers look at the fire very intently as this is their first time seeing one. Peggy (Coordinator, First Peoples@Seneca) starts the ceremony by reminding us of all the Indigenous people that have taken care of our forest for many years. Then she says a special prayer and blessing. She shows us all some cedar branches and asks us to listen to them as she puts them in the fire. Continue reading “Land Acknowledgment Ceremony Friday October 5th, 2018”

A Path To Empathy

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I set out into the forest to meet the children on a beautiful warm and sunny afternoon. As I walked through the forest I came across an extremely hurt squirrel, I wondered what the children would feel and think. As I approached the children and other educators it was clear I had come across something caused me to feel sadness. The children had rushed over, once Krystal said “I wonder what happened to Cristina”. I knelt down on the ground as the children gathered around. I expressed my empathy through my words and body language. The children naturally became eager to rush over and help the squirrel. As their excitement began to rise I expressed my thoughts and feelings on how I felt they needed to be bring calmness to the squirrel because it appeared to be in a delicate state. Continue reading “A Path To Empathy”

Miigwech!

Our 2018 potluck brought together KOLTS families, friends and educators as part of a community circle.  We filled our bellies with scrumptious food contributed by all, exchanged stories, laughed and planted a hearty garden thanks to the folks at Black Forest Garden Centre.  IMG_1310

Continue reading “Miigwech!”

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