Lake Superior Zoo has plans to open a nature based preschool at the Zoo for kids and is already planning to hire a preschool director to help develop programming and state licensing guidelines. The position will largely be funded by grants and the zoo also will hire both full-time and part-time teachers as an opening date gets closer.

The final numbers for enrollment will depend on staffing but according to Haley Hedstrom the zoo's head of marketing and development the plans are  are for the full-day preschool to serve 16-20 children, either from ages 3-5 or 4-5.

Hedstrom explained to The Duluth News Tribune  “Nature preschools have the same child development goals that more traditional schools have but accomplish those goals through experiences in and with nature and help children begin to develop care and concern for the natural world. By having our preschool students interact with and care for zoo animals, we also are uniquely positioned to offer a curriculum that fosters empathy for animals.”

The zoo will be using the historic bluestone pavilion and once a preschool director is hired he or she can put their own touches on how they would like the classroom set up. I personally think this is an amazing idea, I am a huge fan of the zoo and what an incredible experience for these kids and parents!

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