Friday, August 12, 2022

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool- Meet the Teacher

Spring is in full swing at the Bob Jones Nature Center, and there’s nothing better than our award-winning Cross Timbers Forest Preschool!

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool is a unique early education opportunity in Southlake. The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is not only a fantastic home for wildlife but an immersive outdoor classroom. Inquisitive toddlers spend over 80% of their day outside learning about our local environment through hands-on exploration. Forest Preschoolers are no strangers to hikes, critters, and respecting nature, and that’s largely thanks to our world-class teachers at the Nature Center.

This semester, our fearless Forest Preschool leader is Delaney Garcia! Delaney is the new Lead Teacher at Forest Preschool, and she brings a wealth of knowledge and compassion to the job.

“Delaney is incredibly kind, sweet, hardworking, and passionate. I am so grateful for her and love dreaming up program ideas together. She makes me excited about our programs because she is very invested in them. She puts her whole heart into everything she does. She is loved by staff, preschoolers, campers, and families alike!” exclaimed Nature Center Supervisor Hannah Nyquist.

Let’s get to know the Forest Preschool Lead Teacher a little better.

When did you start working for the Community Services Department?
I started working for Southlake in December of 2019 as an Athletic Recreation Attendant.

What are you most looking forward to in Forest Preschool?
I am most looking forward to teaching so many different kids about the importance of a nature preserve and all the diverse animals that call the Nature Center home.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to go to the zoo as much as I can. When I’m not at the zoo, I like to paint.

What do you wish more people knew about the Nature Center?
I wish people knew more about the history of Bob Jones Nature Center! I learn something new every day, and I encourage everyone who visits the Nature Center to read about Bob Jones.

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool meets Tuesday-Friday mornings from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Keep an eye out for upcoming summer opportunities and fall registration!

Forest Preschool is Back for Fall: Meet the Teacher

Summer vacation came and went at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Older kids are back at school, but preschool kiddos have something of their own to look forward to– Cross Timbers Forest Preschool!

The Cross Timbers Forest Preschool is an explorative, hands-on preschool experience focusing on connecting students to nature. The curriculum is like none other thanks to our unique location on over 700 acres of preserve. Inquisitive preschoolers spend over 80% of every day outside learning through exploration. This includes hikes, storytime, arts and crafts, imaginative play, and discovery. Each day is different, and themes range from the local history of the land, local critters, responsible environmental stewardship, butterflies, and more!

Forest Preschool is unique in many ways. We have outstanding teachers and an impressive 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio! This semester our fearless teacher is none other than Nature Center extraordinaire Madeleine Mott.

Madeleine embodies the spirit of the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Adventurous, curious, and kind, Madeleine Mott knows what it’s like to wear many hats. Coming off a successful summer as Camp Director, Madeleine now gets to shift gears into preschool mode.

Here’s what she had to say about this upcoming semester:

What are you most excited about this semester?
I am so excited to get to know all our awesome preschoolers. Each of these kids has such individualized traits and qualities that are so easy to love! Not to mention we can add to our long list of all the funny and quirky things Forest Preschoolers say!

What’s your favorite animal?
My favorite animal would have to be giraffes, but at the Nature Center, I love the deer, specifically the fawns.

What do you hope your students take away from this experience?
I hope my students take away from this semester of preschool an overall love and respect for nature. I want them to go out into the woods confidently and leave exhilarated by the energy these natural places give. I want them to explore without boundaries and fall in love with what they find.

Anything else you want to share about Forest Preschool?
Forest Preschool is truly the best. It provides such a unique experience for these little ones. It will encourage confidence and independence, their social skills will grow, and their knowledge of the world around them will flourish.

The Cross Timbers Forest Preschool meets from 9 am-12 pm for 15 weeks each semester. Classes are offered Tuesday-Friday, and registration is per day of the week. The fall semester begins on August 24 and ends on December 10.

Learn more here.