STAFF KUDOS: Dr. Mary Palmer touts benefits of outdoor learning in Science and Education article
Congratulations to Dr. Mary Palmer, Director of Campus Child Care Centers, on the publication of “Shape, Bake and Grow!”, an article she co-authored with Dr. Shelly Counsell and Felicia Peat for the July/August issue of Science and Children. Shelly Counsell is an associate professor in early childhood education at the University of Memphis and Felicia Peat is the 24/7 Kids Channel education and outreach manager at WKNO-TV.
The article explains how learning and playing outdoors can teach children plant knowledge and healthy lifestyles. Palmer sees the outside world as a classroom where children have endless opportunities for exploration and learning and credits her parents for showing her the benefits of learning from the natural environment as a child. Instead of tuning into television and radio like most children today, she tuned into nature.
“I connected to my environment by watching tomatoes grow on a vine and picking and eating them from the garden,” Dr. Palmer said. “Working alongside my parents outside allowed me to plug into my very own outdoor learning lab.”
Palmer started her pre-school career at the Early Childhood Education Center at Shelby State Community College in 1978 before transitioning to the campus childcare centers in 1994 at State Technical Institute (both institutions merged to form Southwest in 2000). She has a combined 42 years of experience at the College in developing innovative ways for students to connect to their own environments, especially through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities. Her gardening program was the catalyst for Southwest’s Early Childhood Education Center’s Shape and Bake family program to expand into the Shape, Bake and Grow program, in partnership with the University of Memphis Early Childhood Education Program. The program is now a part of PBS’ kids programming and can be seen on Mid-South affiliate station, WKNO-TV.
Click the following link to read the “Shape, Bake and Grow” article: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=664080&ver=html5&p=48.