Thank You Mama Earth For Holding Space For Us All In 2020
“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.”- William Wordsworth
At Aishling Forest School, we know that playing outside and connecting to nature is a birthright. And today, being amongst the trees is more important than ever. Research proves that nature is equal parts calming and stimulating, especially in the face of uncertainty. Even during isolation, the outdoors has and always will provide a safe space for us to play, learn, love, grow and heal. For that and more, we express our eternal gratitude to the great outdoors.
This past year, we’ve worked hard to stay true to our mission of creating a quality forest school and enrichment program where the magic of childhood runs free and nature is the greatest teacher to connect to yourself, each other and Mama Earth. With heartfelt thanks to our mentors and amazing forest families, we have:
- Created a Forest School @Home program when we couldn’t gather and together, we experienced the 8 Indicators of Awareness. We shared stories, sit spots and silly dance moves.
- Worked together to keep our fall 2020 programs open all season long. We played in the sun, rain and in the snow and can proudly say that we can gear up and get outside!
- Established a 5-day a week program at our original home in the woods at CEED in Brookhaven, NY.
- Welcomed 3 new mentors to our forest family, each with unique strengths to offer our community.
- Created our Artists in Nature art program (and after-school program) for learners to create art in the most inspirational studio of all- nature!
This coming year, our goal is to improve outdoor access for all through equity and inclusion. We believe that everyone has the right to explore and play in the outdoors; experience joy and connection; and discover their land, but not all children have the opportunity. We will work to increase access to our programs and strive to create an experience that is inclusive and culturally relevant to all learners. To make this a reality, we’ll create a scholarship program for single mothers and low-income women with children, in addition to fundraising for The Fresh Air Fund.
We will also begin our Together We Rise Girls Mentorship Program in Fall 2021 for young women ages 9-12 years old. This program will include first moon and coming of age ceremonies for our daughters.
I know that 2020 was a wild ride (to say the least) and that the term resilient doesn’t seem to encompass how strong we’ve become. What I do know is that we can do hard things and will continue to rise and rise again, for we were built for these times. In closing out this unprecedented year, I want to thank YOU, our incredible community for being apart of our shared vision to support outdoor play and learning for all. We can’t wait to see what’s next and to see you all outside.
Thank you for being you <3
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