About Four Winds

Why do leaves change color in the fall? What rock floats in water? Do all bugs fly? Children are naturally curious about the world around them. The Four Winds program helps them fuel their curiosity and answer questions about nature, and encourages learners of all ages to look at the familiar with new eyes -- the shape of a leaf, the texture of a caterpillar, the design of a flower. Sitting quietly in a field listening to insects singing, exploring life in a pond by wading in and turning over rocks, examining the forest floor by digging under the leaf litter and smelling the rich earth, we learn about the world around us through active exploration. Four Winds educators want to help you learn about nature in your community.

The Four Winds Nature Institute is a non-profit organization advancing the understanding, appreciation and protection of the environment through community-based natural science education and research. Four Winds education programs bring children and adults together to connect them to the natural world where they live, work and play. Four Winds educators provide education and resources to adult volunteers in the Colchester School District, these volunteers then go into the classrooms to engage the kids, and then to get outside and explore!

Four Winds' Nature Program offers monthly two-hour natural science workshops for adults interested in sharing their love of nature with school children. With engaging indoor and outdoor activities and explorations, adults give young students an opportunity to study nature in their own schoolyard and neighborhood. Children learn important science concepts and practice science skills such as asking questions, making observations, recording data, and communicating information.

Volunteering

Amaze your child with science facts--become a Four Winds volunteer!

All elementary schools in Colchester participate in the Four Winds program, but the program cannot be successful without the help of parents, other relatives, or family friends. To be a volunteer, you do not need a teaching degree, just a desire to help kids learn about their natural world.

Volunteers attend a two-hour training each month. These training sessions are held on the second Monday of the month from 9-11am at the Colchester Meeting House. This training will be recorded by a volunteer each month, so if you are unable to attend, this video will be available as a link on the website soon after the training. Each school's coordinators supply materials for the workshops. Volunteers schedule time with their classroom teacher, usually 1 to 1.5 hours, to present the workshop to the kids each month.

All volunteers will need to submit a background check form for the Colchester School District.

2016-2017 Training Schedule

All training sessions are held from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the Colchester Meeting House.

  • September 19, 2016 - All Sorts of Insects
  • October 17, 2016 - Leaves
  • November 14, 2016 - Conifer Clues
  • January 23, 2017 - Snowflakes
  • March 13, 2017 - Feathering the Nest
  • April 10, 2017 - Disguises & Surprises or Frogs & Toads

Helpful Links

Teaching outline and materials

Calendar

Please email fourwinds@colchestersd.org if you have any further questions.

If you would like to volunteer in a classroom, let your child's teacher know, or contact the Colchester School District Four Winds Coordinator

District Coordinator
Stephanie Stahl
fourwinds@colchestersd.org

PPS Materials Coordinator
Heidi Igneri
hploss75@gmail.com

UMS Materials Coordinators
Meghan Ehle
meghanehle@gmail.com

Katy Gamelin
gamelin2003@yahoo.com

MBS Materials Coordinators
Stephanie Stahl
fourwinds@colchestersd.org

James MacAuley
James@claussens.com