Two kids play checkers in the Nurturing Nature program held at Rae-Lynn Varga’s property.

Smithers woman offering nature program from home

A Smithers woman is taking learning in the classroom to the outdoors with a program that she will continue to run from her home the strike

A Smithers woman is taking learning in the classroom to the outdoors with a program that she will continue to run from her home as long as the teachers’ strike does.

Rae-Lynn Varga, an early learning coordinator with School District 54, is running the Nurturing Nature program on her property where kids use natural materials to learn, explore and create projects.

“It’s a lot of self discovery and exploration,” said Varga. “They’re 100 per cent in an outdoor environment. They’re using materials that are natural and they’re coming up with their own ideas of how to create things.”

Kids go on nature walks where they can collect plants and examine bear prints, and explore the rock quarry, teepees and outdoor mud kitchen that Varga has set up for them.

“My goal is to create the environment, provide the materials and let them come up with their own way of using them,” she said. “It’s been pretty neat to see how pieces of wood have been transformed into a work of art.”

Varga ran the program in the summer for preschool children, but has continued the program for 12 school-aged kids once she learned the strike would continue.

In the past few weeks, Varga said she has already seen an increase in parents signing their kids up for the program.

“I’ve had a waiting list since the strike started. I know that things are up in the air, but I just decided to keep going until I can get back to work. It’s also providing a service for families,” she said. “I wanted kids to have a place to go and for families to feel that they don’t have to worry about where their kids are at.”

She added she has tried to adapt the program to incorporate some of the elements that kids would get in school, such as working in groups.

“After two months of summer, families and children are ready for learning and to be in the classroom,” she said. “I wanted to make sure these children have that responsibility and self-regulation and all that’s important to maintaining that school life.”

The program runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $35 for the full day or $28 for four hours.


Just Posted

Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Kaska, Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations share Premier’s Award for Innovation with ministry

Champion BVCS bumps competition

Bulkley Valley Christian School jumping for joy after winning the boy’s Grade 7-8 volleyball zones.

Tahltan First Nation to finally return home after wildfire

Roughly $12 million has been spent making the community livable again after the 1,180-square-kilometre blaze destroyed 21 homes

Postal strike strikes Smithers

Rural route carriers want better treatment.

Smithers Hwy 16 lane closure Nov. 19-22

Planned utility work is expected to start on Hwy 16 in Smithers Monday morning.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read