CARSON, Calif., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lakeshore Learning Materials, a leading developer and retailer of early childhood educational materials, has been selected to receive a 2013 National Arbor Day Award. The Arbor Day Foundation will present Lakeshore with the prestigious Rachel Carson Award in recognition of the company's dedication to connecting children with nature and inspiring educators across the country to do the same. The award ceremony will take place on National Arbor Day weekend, Saturday, April 27, in Nebraska City, Nebraska—the Arbor Day Foundation's hometown.
Lakeshore has long believed that putting children in touch with nature has powerful educational, developmental and behavioral benefits—from encouraging observation and problem-solving skills to nurturing a concern for the environment and promoting physical activity. When Lakeshore learned about the Nature Explore® Classroom concept, they made a heartfelt commitment to integrate it into Kids & Company, their on-site preschool for employees' children.
Working closely with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation, Lakeshore transformed their Kids & Company playground into an exciting outdoor space that promotes active learning skills by letting children experience the sights, textures and beauty of nature. In addition to all-natural decor including bamboo fencing and log dividers, the space features inviting activity areas that allow children to make one-of-a-kind constructions with items from nature, build with real bricks and stones, and much more. Children also plant and tend to a variety of fruits and vegetables in a beautiful garden area.
In 2009, Kids & Company became the third Nature Explore® Classroom in California and the 25th in the nation. Since then, Lakeshore has continued to collaborate with Dimensions to spread the message about the benefits of outdoor education. The company has reached thousands of early childhood educators nationwide by participating in Nature Explore® workshops and professional development programs, as well as dozens of speaking engagements at some of the country's largest educational conferences.
"We're tremendously honored to receive the esteemed National Arbor Day Award," says Bo Kaplan, Lakeshore President and CEO. "Being a member of the growing Nature Explore® family has been extremely rewarding, and we look forward to helping further the movement for years to come."
"We couldn't be more pleased to recognize Lakeshore for inspiring others to create outdoor learning experiences that captivate children's sense of wonder about nature—both through their own example at Kids & Company and through the efforts of a dedicated team around the country," says John Rosenow, Founder and Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.
Previous National Arbor Day Award winners include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, veteran newsman Bill Kurtis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Mary Kay Inc.
For more information on the National Arbor Day Awards, visit www.arborday.org/programs/awards.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook at facebook.com/arborday or Twitter at twitter.com/arborday.
About Lakeshore—Products Designed with Learning in Mind™
Lakeshore Learning Materials is a leading developer and retailer of top-quality materials for early childhood education programs, elementary schools and homes nationwide. Since 1954, Lakeshore has offered innovative learning materials distinguished by their quality, educational merit and safety. To learn more, visit http://www.lakeshorelearning.com.
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SOURCE Lakeshore Learning Materials