A day filled with gratitude, community and reflection

As a community we came together to bring happiness, love and light to those in need that many of  us take for granted; tooth paste, socks, gloves, hygiene products. Our experience at Odeyto filled my heart in ways that had me wondering about the way I go about my life. The 28 ribs inside Odeyto which symbolizes the complete lunar cycle left a child in complete amazement. “This is amazing!” As I watched a child glare at a beautiful indigenous piece of art work, another child recognized the scared medicines and made a connection to our forest school. As I listened and observed the magic that was happening around me I began to wonder what this experience truly meant to the children. As the children stomped through CITE to see the circle of indigenous knowledge which reflects many stories and teachings, was when I recognized the need to slow down and be present. I stopped trying to capture the moments in a picture instead I observed and opened my heart. I stopped over thinking of what to do next, and instead waited to see what was next. Most important I put down my ego and expectations, and stayed true to my feelings and beliefs without judgement or concern of others around me.  This approach took me weeks to reflect on, which then brought me to the understanding of how I allowed my ego and expectations to cloud over before seeing the light. It was a day filled with community and gratitude. We speak about reflection quite often and use the term freely but I wonder what reflection, process and mindfulness truly means to others. When we share genuine feelings and become vulnerable though our experiences I believe we reach a point of true, honest  genuine love, respect, kindness, humility, wisdom,honesty and bravery.

stomping around with so much knowledge


How have you allowed your biases and ego to cloud your true thoughts and feelings?


A Shelter for a Spider

On this FNS day the children showed great empathy for their forest kin, a spider found in the snow atop this tree stump. The spider was very gently moved into one of the holes in this stump. We considered the impact of moving the spider from its location however the children insisted it be relocated as they worried for its survival. Their concern propelled them into further action and together they used the bounty of the forest to create what they deemed a warmer and safer living space for the spider.

Please watch the children’s vlog to hear their story told in their own words.




A gift to You

We have been very busy this year in our FNS. While we have been quiet, much has been going on behind the scenes. Our bodies, minds and spirits are continuously filled with the offerings of our earth. We are gifted each and every day that we are able to explore, wonder and connect with each other and all that surrounds us. In the spirit of giving and connecting we would like to share some of our moments from the year.

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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”


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”

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