Developed by the Education Committee of the Friends of Druid Hill Park and the staff at the Rawlings Conservatory, Little Leaves is a science-based learning program designed for second grade students from Druid Hill Park, Mondawmin, Gwyns Falls and other surrounding neighborhoods.
Little Leaves opens up these second graders’ worlds at a time when their own environments may not support positive exploration, imagination, and connections with nature.
At this critical age, 7-8 year-olds are developing an interest in science and the world at large. Little Leaves introduces them to a broad range of science skills centered on observation, description, and asking questions.
The program supports this growth in science-based knowledge and skills by immersing participants in three diverse natural worlds – Mediterranean, Tropical and Desert biomes – right in their own neighborhood at the Rawlings Conservatory.
Designed to support and supplement the Maryland State Science Standards and the Baltimore City School curriculum, students who complete Little Leaves have a better understanding of plants and nature. They learn how plants work and what they need to survive in different habitats. Plus, they are taught to use their senses to observe natural phenomenon, and then illustrate their observations through drawing.
The program encourages the participation of parents and family members as chaperones who actively engage with the children during their visits. Such participation in the learning process helps families question and explore together, reinforcing what they discover.
Little Leaves opens doors of opportunity by exposing young children to the possibilities in science and the world at large. To create thriving and healthy communities, everyone needs such experiences, especially when opportunities to expand worldviews are right in our own backyard at the Rawlings Conservatory.
Jackie Handley and Mary Louise Snyder shared information about the Little Leaves program at the February meeting of the Bolton Hill Garden Club, which approved a donation of $400 that will fund a field trip for two grade levels.