Danielle Elder, Program Director of Windy Willows Environmental Centre
Hello! I'm Danielle and I am so excited to share with you my passion for outdoor education and emergent based childcare.
I will tell you a little about myself. I have been in the childcare field for over 27 years and devised and spearheaded many programs in preschool, daycare, before and afterschool care, as well as summer creative arts programs. I have taught a variety of developmental levels as well as children with differing needs and have immensely loved their tenacity and spirit- much like my own son, Will, who keeps me on my toes. I live very happily with my most excellent husband Kyle, who is extremely supportive and awesome. With our son, we also have our rescue puppy, Monty, who is one crazy chihuahua and we love him!
When my son was eight, he was diagnosed with ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This was a very difficult time for my monkey and he struggled terribly in school. My husband and I knew that he learned differently and at a different pace. We then enrolled him in the Environmental School in Maple Ridge. It changed his life. It changed our lives. Will found friends, love and was provided with the most amazing guidance and teaching I had ever seen. He became self-confident, self-assured and LOVED going to school everyday.
I learned a great deal from that school. I learned that not only providing space for children to grow and allowing them the opportunity to succeed at their own pace was extremely beneficial to helping them love learning, but also by encouraging them to seek out information on their own, they become confident, absorbent minds wanting to learn more. How extraordinary!
This was why Windy Willows was formed. To provide children with a sense of belonging, and cherish this ultimate love of learning that every child possesses as long as they have the opportunity to allow it to happen.
I hope as you are reading this, that you too can see the benefits of this type of learning and that you and your child can come on this totally awesome journey with us!