May is Mental Health Awareness Month, when Americans are urged to recognize the toll of mental illness, fight stigma and advocate for better support for the millions of people affected. One increasingly important area of focus: Children. Mental illness among children is caused by a bewildering array of factors, but no matter the exact situation, parents and other caregivers can adopt one simple strategy to buttress the mental health of the children and adolescents they love. They can foster a connection to nature.
You can teach your children about spring in many ways. You can watch trees and shrubs leaf and bloom, explore patch of bluebonnets and dance in a spring rainstorm. In quiet moments, you can also read some of the great children’s books about the season.
Registration has opened for the Garden’s summer camps. S.E.E.D (Summer Exploration, Engagement, and Discovery) Camp in the Garden offers fun and stimulating experiences for kids from preschool to high school. Camps sell out every year, so make sure to sign up today!
Spring Break is just around the corner, and now is the time to sign up for the Garden’s Family Workshops. These sessions are a great way to get out of the house, play with your kids and learn something along the way.
“Story time” has a magical sound. What can be better than sitting with a favorite adult and hearing a new story read with enthusiasm and love? Fostering this kind of positive experience with books is one of the goals of the new Saturday Storytime program, which will begin in February.
Our four-week festival of Hispanic heritage, ¡Celebramos!, begins Sept. 15, and our calendar is packed with events that range from a Quinceañera community celebration to an outdoor market to an art exhibit of depictions of the plants of Latin America. Families looking to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with their children should highlight Saturday, Oct. 1 on their calendars and plan to attend Día de la Familia. The day is packed with educational programs and performances and culminates with movie night at the Garden.
Most area school districts begin classes this month. Alongside all of the students and teachers, those heading back to the classroom include members of the FWBG | BRIT early childhood education team. They will spend the school year helping some of the youngest learners in our area explore the outdoors. “Our goal is to help teachers incorporate nature into learning for three-year-old pre-k students,” says Early Childhood Program Manager Cheryl Potemkin.