Free Range Education: Preparing for the Future
by Michaelann Velicky (SOL Education Committee)

In its educational mission, SOL seeks to help individuals to become more self-reliant, to promote use of our natural resources in a responsible way, and to empower inquiry and action on local and global problems. How do we speak to this expansive vision being a small organization? I think one way is by taking precise thoughtful actions that can leverage relevant movement. 

Inviting Rose Hammerman to our next ZoomCast is such an action. She completed her B.A. in Community Education from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT with her thesis focus on Adventure Playgrounds and the benefits of child development in natural surroundings. Rose is an avid believer in play being critical to teaching compassion, empathy, and community. Play fosters caring growth in young children and families.

Rose uses the foundational material of nature to educate children. She teaches children to develop true relationships with the natural world that is about love and learning. Children that have their roots here will be the adults that are self reliant, inquisitive, responsible, and effective. In truth, the quality of life on this planet may depend on the next generation understanding their connection with nature on a new level. 

While we recognize the benefits of children connecting with nature, it can be hard to know where to begin or how to optimize the quality of those experiences.  How do we understand and navigate our own experience, conditioning, and psychology toward the benefit of a child’s development?  

The idea of this upcoming Zoomcast is to provide information and support to the parents, educators, and caregivers in guiding their children. That is key. This is where the shift happens. Rose will share her own journey and experiences of raising and teaching young children over the past 17 years. She’ll speak on how she uses nature as a learning tool for children, and what it takes to help a child develop a life long relationship and connection to their natural environment. 

As a grandmother, living in an intergenerational situation on a land trust property; I am really looking forward to participating in this Zoomcast. It won’t be long, now, until the littlest one will be climbing her first tree! I will be cheering her on! 





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