In light of the current coronavirus situation, the Sands Point Preserve has moved its education and fitness classes to a virtual setting while the preserve is temporarily closed to protect the health and safety of their employees and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the preserve began offering virtual art, yoga and science in nature classes for children ages 3-10, as well as an Earth Expeditions class, a science class for middle school aged children in grades 6-8.
Each class focuses on a specific activity or project that the children can participate in from the safety of their home.
The Earth Expedition class takes place each Monday from 3 to 4 p.m. During the class, teachers work with children on different activities such as learning to plant seeds, or going on a scavenger hunt in their backyards to learn about wildlife and the environment.
“There is a lot of flexibility for families,” Beth Horn, the executive director for the Sands Point Preserve, said. “At the heart of this is really a desire to offer families a way to give their children really good experiences, while they are required to be at home and not only is it flexible and welcoming, it is also a way for children to connect with not only the educators, but also other children their own age.”
While there were some initial challenges with moving in-person classes to a virtual setting, the educators at the Preserve rose to the challenge to keep these classes going.
“All of our educators jumped right in and were able to adapt all of their lessons and the parents have been really supportive and positive as well,” Tracy Strianese, education director for the Sands Point Preserve, said. “The kids also like to share either what they found outside, or their art work and I think it’s nice for them to be able to share it with somebody else that’s not their mom or their brother.”
On April 27 at 4 p.m. the Preserve will also be holding a free virtual story time session. The author and illustrator of the book The Boy and the Boy King will be holding a live story telling followed by an interactive portion. The book follows the themes of imagination, adventure and friendship.
“We’re so excited that the co-creators of this are going to be doing this special presentation,” Horn said. “Storytelling is just so marvelous. I think it helps families especially with little children build some structure for their day.”
The adult meditation class takes place every Monday at 11:45 a.m. and Qi Gong class takes place every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Each class is 45 minutes and is offered for adults with all skill levels.
Currently, there is open-ended enrollment for all classes. Each class is offered at an individual class rate, or a package of four classes. For more information about the preserve’s virtual classes, visit www.sandspointpreserveconservancy.org/learning-adventures/after-school-programs.