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Cultivating a Sense of Place in Bryn Athyn, PA

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Angela Rose

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of Cultivating a Sense of Place in Bryn Athyn, PA

Cultivating A Sense Of Place
in Bryn Athyn, PA

Playing Along The Pennypack
Bryn Athyn College
Place-based Education
Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools
Bryn Athyn Church School
The Wetlands Nature Center
Student Interest in Gardening
"Gardening is a great way to build community
and to also help build spirituality. With the college's
increasing size more work needs to be done to help
build community in order to keep the safe,
small college feel."
"I think it is useful learning how and where
our food comes from....There is such a "disconnect" for most people today since most buy their food from a store."
"[Gardening provides] a sense of accomplishment,
independence, and creativity, If you can grow your
own food, what else might you be inspired to do?!!?"
84% would like access to locally grown food
76% - gardening course
55% - internship with a gardener
Place-based education is experiential learning that engages students with their local landscape & community.
Place-based learning
takes place onsite in the schoolyard, community, or surrounding environs
focuses on local systems & themes
is personally relevant to the learner
contributes to the community's vitality and environmental quality
supported by partnerships with local businesses and organizations
is interdisciplinary
supports the development of the love of one's place
provides a foundation for understanding and participating appropriately in regional and global issues
Benefits of Place-based Education
Higher scores on standardized tests
Better grade-point averages
Improved behavior in class
Improved skills in conflict resolution, problem-solving skills, and higher level thinking
Ecology Class
Senior Projects
from Smart By Nature by Michael Stone
Connections to the Community
Third grade adopt-a-grandparent program
Alnwick Grove Historical Society
The Alnwick Grove Historical Society
promotes a hands-on approach to learning
about history. AGHS is interested in
collecting oral histories
creating & conducting walking tours
developing programs for schools
advocating for the preservation of historic sites
finding other ways to help students, community members & visitors connect with the history & environs of BA
Bryn Athyn Church Preschool
Only when we understand the heritage
of the land, the linkages between culture
and nature, and are able to interpret that
heritage, does a real sense of place become possible.
-Tom Wessels
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of
strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is
something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.
Rachel Carson - The Sense of Wonder
The good news is that a substantial fraction of youth today continue to encounter rich and rewarding opportunities for experiencing nature.
-Stephen Kellert
"It was the first class that gave me the opportunity
to reach beyond the school, to make connections &
get help from mentors around me."
"Senior Project taught me about the power of community
and networking. I never could have accomplished my project on my own....Throughout the entire process I knew
I had the support of my coaches, my mentor, my family,
my cast, and my community."
Connections to the local natural environment
Nature walks: plants, trees, insects, the seasons
Field trips to the Pennypack Creek
Field trip to cemetary, Borough Park Memorial
Team building day in the Nature Center
Art classes sketch the barn
Connections to local history
Field trips to Cairnwood, Glencairn & the Cathedral
Community Service Projects
Tapping maple trees
Field trip to historic Philadelphia & Gettysburg
Guest speakers
Planting flowers around the school
Field trip to Churchville Lenape Village
"Children in affluent suburbs are more likely to be depressed even than those living in inner-city poverty."
Bill McKibben
Bryn Athyn Summer Institutes
Intensive courses sponsored by

Bryn Athyn College, ANCSS, Glencairn Museum, and Bryn Athyn Cathedral
Full transcript