Garden Education Center hires youth director

Under the helm of new director of youth education Deanna Novak, the Garden Education Center (GEC) has some exciting goals in store.

The GEC said it hopes to launch a nature-based childhood education program that will allow it to further develop and expand several projects that have been piloted by committed GEC volunteers in recent years. By creating this position, the GEC said it was showing its commitment to the expansion of program offerings to children and families. It hopes to broaden its reach to nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Ms. Novak will be directing the GEC’s weekly Sprouts and Seedlings pre-school summer enrichment programs, school vacation enrichment throughout the school year and after-school classes at Greenwich elementary schools on the GEC’s behalf as well as on-site. She is planning fun and educational monthly weekend workshops geared toward families as well as a weekly Mommy & Me Toddler Walk in the Montgomery Pinetum. Ms. Novak will also work to further the GEC’s partnership with local schools through the GRAB/Green Schools collaboration via The Great Greenwich Garbage Tour and with Green LEAF Teams in both public and independent schools.

Ms. Novak has a bachelor of science in Natural Resource Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and has worked in soil and water conservation outreach since 2000. She has initiated and directed after-school groups in both Brooklyn, N.Y., and Greenwich Public Schools, bringing in guest experts for STEAM enrichment (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) and connecting students and teachers to existing local green resources and experts.

She is also a volunteer teacher naturalist at Greenwich Audubon. Deanna is the co-chair of Greenwich Public Schools’ PTA Council Green Schools Committee. Her current weekend and summer professional development coursework at Antioch University puts her on course to be certified in nature-based early childhood education by 2015.

For more information regarding upcoming youth and family programs at the GEC, contact [email protected] or call 203-869-9242.

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