Frazer Center was chosen as one of fifteen finalists in the Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Out of almost 200 applicants, Frazer was the only Georgia-based finalist in the challenge which “aims to seed the field of early education with new ideas, fresh thinking, and strategic approaches that have the potential for widespread and sustainable impact for children.”
The Frazer team had two weeks to become presentation-ready before a whirlwind trip to Boston. Participating in the challenge were Susie Riddick, Child Development Program Director, and Tonja Holder, Development Director, with support from CEO Paige McKay Kubik.
Susie and Tonja had three minutes to pitch an idea to the judges and to an audience which was both in-house and live-streaming. The judges and audience voted on first, second, and third place winners in three different categories of competition. Frazer was awarded a thrid-place finish in the “Ideas” category.
Frazer’s proposal was for the creation of a forest-based curriculum that would not only be adapted to include children with disabilities but would serve children from low-income families throughout the metro Atlanta area. The Zaentz award comes with $2500 to help fund the proposal.
More and more research is confirming that exposure to green space creates positive structural changes in a child’s developing brain. Frazer is excited to begin creating this forest-based curriculum which will fit seamlessly with the Creative Curriculum already in use in Frazer’s classrooms. Teachers will be part of the creation process and receive professional training in the latest practices of forest-based learning.
Once the program has been piloted, Frazer looks forward to sharing the new forest curriculum and access to Frazer Forest at no cost to metro Atlanta early education centers serving primarily low-income families.
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