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Grant to expand outdoor classrooms

The exterior of the Long Island Children's Museum,

The exterior of the Long Island Children's Museum, at 11 Davis Ave., East Garden City. Credit: Kirsten Luce, 2009

A $150,000 grant has been given to the Plainview-based Early Years Institute to expand on its efforts to incorporate outdoor learning at a young age.

The William E. and Maude S. Pritchard Charitable Trust awarded the funds to the regional nonprofit to help it build on its Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids project, a news release said.

Funding from the grant, the release said, will go toward increasing the number of outdoor classrooms above the 21 in place throughout Long Island, increasing training for adults to encourage their children to use these classrooms, and broadening the membership of the project’s steering committee to include government representatives and others.

Project director Patricia Manzi said the institute works with five of the outdoor classrooms on Long Island. She said money from the grant would specifically go toward new programs within new or existing classrooms. The programs look to increase exercise and running, and gardening — which she said aims to teach children about eating healthy.

The institute wants to increase its number of outdoor classrooms, Manzi said. Classrooms are located at Suffolk County Farms, the Long Island Children’s Museum, Middle Country Public Library, Sands Point Preserve and Bailey Arboretum.

Above: Long Island Children's Museum
 

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