Nature's Classroom

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Nature's Classroom is a non-profit outdoor environmental education program started in 1973 in the Northeast of the United States. It hosts residential programs for teachers and students at fifteen sites in New England and New York; programs range from one to five days. It has been host to hundreds of thousands of children from over 350 school districts, most of whom were in fifth through eighth grades.

Its headquarters are in Charlton, Massachusetts. The program's facilities are in:

In addition, satellite programs have been started in other parts of the United States. These programs are independently owned and operated, under the auspices and program run by the main Nature's Classroom in New England.

Criticism on Historical reenactments[edit]

Nature's Classroom has been criticized for allowing students to participate in historical reenactments of slavery. At a Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy field trip in 2012, a parent has alleged that students were called a racial slur during the simulation, told they were property, and threatened with physical violence. Parents of a few of the children on the field trip demanded an apology from the Hartford Schools for 10 months before taking their complaints to the Human Rights Commission and the Connecticut School Board.[1][2][3]

During the re-enactment, students step into the role of an enslaved African trying to escape on the Underground Railroad. Teachers, administrators, and parents from the students' school guide groups of students on a walk through the woods, where they interact with Nature's Classroom teachers playing a variety of characters. In response to the field trip in question, Nature's Classroom's executive director noted that the program was requested by this visiting school, and that this was the fifth year in which they had taken part in the activity. The director also noted that nearly 200 of the 480 schools that attend Nature's Classroom request the activity, which has been performed thousands of times over the last 20 years. [4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diaz, Von (September 19, 2013). "Parents Complain After Child Forced to Reenact Slavery on a Field Trip". Colorlines. 
  2. ^ "Black student forced to participate in slavery reenactment". Al Jazeera America. September 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ De la Torre, Vanessa (September 19, 2013). "Parents File Complaint Against Hartford Schools Related To Slavery Reenactment". The Courant. 
  4. ^ LaPlace, Debbie (September 21, 2013). "Student: Conn. class forced to re-enact slavery". The Worcester Telegram. 

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