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Willowell uses grant for students’ gear

NEW HAVEN — The Willowell Foundation recently announced that it will use the grant money it received from the Middlebury Maple Run to enhance accessibility to outdoor education for students at the Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool. The money will help the preschool purchase Muck boots for their students.
This school is a five-day-a-week nature-based program for children ages 3-5, which takes place at Treleven Farm in New Haven. This newly expanded program’s mission is to bring children outdoors for play-based, sensory and experiential education. Children at Wren’s Nest spend the majority of their school day outdoors in all of the elements of Vermont weather — hiking, constructing and constantly exploring the ecology of the natural landscape.
Willowell Administrative Director Tasha Ball said that some children lack adequate gear to fully participate in the exploratory and land-based curriculum.
“Above all, we want this school to be accessible to children of all demographics in Addison County,” she said. “Teachers at Wren’s Nest see a discrepancy in the quality of gear students are sent to school with. Functional, waterproof and warm footwear for each child is our priority.”
Willowell, which was one of six recipients of grants from the Middlebury Maple Run, Vermont’s Sweetest Half-Marathon, will use the grant money to buy 10 new pairs of boots that will live in perpetuity at the school for generations of young students to come.

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