Shoresh

Shoresh Outdoor School

The Shoresh Outdoor School bridges meaningful Jewish learning with hands-on, nature-based experiences!



DESCRIPTION:

Give your kids the gift of Jewish learning…in the great outdoors!  Through urban wilderness experiences, students will explore Jewish holidays and cycles, mitzvot and rituals, and ethical teachings, while being active, building community, and experiencing moments of deep nature connection.  The Shoresh Outdoor School is pluralistic and open to the many ways that our community members live and learn Jewishly.

SPRING 2022 PROGRAM DETAILS:
Sundays in Williamson Ravine
Time: 2:30-4 pm
Dates: Sundays, April 24 – May 29 (5 sessions; no session on Victoria Day Weekend May 22)
Cost: $180/participant
Grades: SK – Grade 3
REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.
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Mondays in Bickford Park
Time: 4:00-5:30pm (TTC transportation is available from Paul Penna)
Dates: Mondays, April 25 – May 30  (5 sessions; no session on Victoria Day May 23)
Location: Bickford Park
Cost: $180/participant
REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.
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Tuesdays in Cedarvale Ravine
Time: 4:00-5:30pm (Before Care available starting at 3:30pm; Walking Bus available from Leo Baeck Day School and Robbins Hebrew Academy)
Dates: Tuesdays, April 26 – May 31 (6 sessions)
Location: Cedarvale Ravine
Cost: $216/participant
REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.
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Thursdays in Nordheimer Ravine
Time: 4:00-5:30pm (Before Care available starting at 3:30pm; Walking Bus available from Hillcrest Public School)
Dates: Thursdays, April 28 – June 2 (6 sessions)
Location: Nordheimer Ravine
Cost: $216/participant
REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.
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*NEW PILOT*
Sundays in High Park
Time: 10-11:30am
Dates: Sundays, April 24 – May 29 (5 sessions; no session on Victoria Day Weekend May 22)
Cost: $180/participant
Grades: SK – Grade 3
REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.
*We will confirm that this pilot is running by early April, based on registration numbers.
If you have any questions, please email Ellis at ellis@shoresh.ca.

 TESTIMONIALS:

“The girls LOVED their time in the garden yesterday! [They] talked to me about the forest this morning on our walk to school. They both wished that Shoresh Outdoor School could be every day, all day long!  Thank you for putting so much energy into creating and implementing such a wonderful program. WOW!”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participants

”[My child] lives and breathes for nature and nature-based play. It’s in those spaces he seems freest”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant

“[My child] has enjoyed every moment of the program and is so eager to share what she’s learned each week.”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant

“[My child] has been loving outdoor school. And it is so exciting to watch how much he has already learned. He told us about how the water in the ravine is going to Lake Ontario (and asked lots of questions about other rivers/ravines and if they are going to Lake Ontario). On a hike this weekend he identified garlic mustard and ate some!”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What does Jewish outdoor education look like at the Shoresh Outdoor School?
The Shoresh Outdoor School is designed to bridge Jewish learning with hands-on, nature-based activities.  Through time spent in the great outdoors, students will explore Jewish holidays and cycles, mitzvot and rituals, and ethical teachings, while being active, building community, and experiencing moments of deep nature connection.  Our daily schedule is based on the FLOW Learning Model designed by acclaimed environmental educator Joseph Cornell, allowing our guides to provide structure while following the natural interests and passions of our students.  As well, students are collectively earning badges (think Scouts!) each program as they demonstrate new knowledge and skills.

Jewish Nature Badges?  Sounds super awesome…but why?
Badge learning is a proven method to motivate children and increase their excitement for learning.   Each program, students will collectively work on badges in five different categories:
• Shomrei Adamah (Keepers of the Earth) – Badges include Seed Saving, Native Plants, and Soil
• Shomrei Chayot (Keepers of the Animals) – Badges include Animal Habitats, Insects, and Pollinators
• Shomrei Atzmi (Keepers of my Self) – Badges include Outdoor Cooking, Shelter Building, and Wild Edibles
• Shomrei Kehila (Keepers of Community) – Badges include Tzedakah, Active Listening, Teamwork
• Shomrei Masoret (Keepers of Tradition) – Badges include Rosh Chodesh, Sukkot, Shabbat, and Havdallah
Badges will be awarded at Closing Circle each afternoon and featured in students’ Nature Journals.

What is Jewish Pluralism?
The Shoresh Outdoor School is a pluralistic program that welcomes Jews of all different backgrounds and affiliations. While learning about Jewish ethical teachings, holidays celebrations, rituals, and prayer, we will be open to the many different ways that our community members interpret these traditions and how they choose to live and learn “Jewishly.”  As well, we create space for honouring the other cultural, religious, and spiritual identities that participants may be bringing to our programs.

Why do Jewish Education outdoors?
Please read our blog posts on Why We’re Starting the Shoresh Outdoor School and why we think it’s important to Take Jewish Education Outdoors.

Who are the staff?
The Shoresh Outdoor School is staffed by an allstar team of educators! All staff have undergone hands-on training in outdoor Jewish environmental education and are truly gifted at communicating the awe and wonder they experience relating to the natural world.   At the Shoresh Outdoor School, our staff:child ratio is 1:6.  All staff are first aid trained and certified.

What happens in the event of rain or inclement weather?
Please note that the Shoresh Outdoor School is strictly an outdoor program.  We will NOT have an indoor programing space on site.  As such, children should be dressed in full rain gear and/or lots of warm layers so that they can comfortably be outside for the full duration of the program.
In the event of rain, our guides will make use of naturally sheltered areas in the ravine.
In the event of extreme weather, such as lightning storms, extreme cold alerts, or any other situation that the Shoresh staff deem unsafe for SOS staff and participants to be outside, the program will be rescheduled.

What should students bring with them each day?

  • Healthy, litterless snacks
  • A full water bottle!!!
  • Closed-toed shoes, ideally somewhat waterproof for muddy days
  • Rain coat, rain pants, rubber boots and/or snow pants, winter coats, hats, mittens, winter boots
  • Medications, inhalers, epipens, etc.
  • Small backpack
  • Mask and hand sanitizer

*Please remember that the Shoresh Outdoor School is an outdoor nature program and your child will be spending time playing outside rain or shine. Please dress your child in weather appropriate clothing that can get dirty.

Is there a washroom on site?
There are public washrooms available in most of our programming spaces.  AND, washrooms in parks and ravines are not always open.  We ask that you ensure participants have used the washroom before meeting up with their Shoresh guides.

How are ensuring everyone’s health and safety in the age of COVID-19?
In order to ensure the health and safety of Shoresh Outdoor School students, staff, and their families, we are following the city of Toronto’s guidelines for after school programs and will update you if there are any changes. We are grateful for your support and patience as we work together to keep our community healthy and safe, at the same time as continuing our educational programs.

Parents/caregivers must complete a COVID screening prior to dropping off child(ren) each day of the program. You can either email the results or show your phone screen to the educators at drop-off.

Participants may not attend Shoresh programs if they or someone in their household has symptoms associated with COVID-19. Should you or any member of your household test positive for COVID-19, or should you find out that you have a known exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must report this immediately to the Shoresh educators.

While participating in Shoresh Outdoor School:

  • Participants should do their best to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others
  • Participants and educators will wear face masks when inside public washrooms and during drop-off and pick-up
  • Participants must avoid sharing personal items and food
  • Parents/guardians MUST wear a mask when dropping off and picking up their children
  • We will be washing or sanitizing hands before eating 

What if we need to miss a program because of illness?  What if the Shoresh Outdoor School must shut down due to COVID-19?
Click here to read our cancellation policy.

What is your vaccination policy?
We do not have a vaccination policy for participants. All of our staff, educators, and adult volunteers are fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses) against COVID. We strongly recommend that participants (including Leaders in Training) who are eligible and able to, also receive the COVID vaccine.

Are program subsidies available?
Yes, limited subsidies are available from the Michelle Kopman Memorial Fund for Nature-Based Education. This fund was set up in 2018 by the family and friends of Michelle Kopman (z”l) to help support our work offering children meaningful opportunities for nature-connection, rooted in Jewish values and teachings. To apply for the subsidy, please call us directly at 416-805-8382 or email risa@shoresh.ca

Wait! I still have more questions!
Not a problem! Please contact Ellis at 416-805-8382, or ellis@shoresh.ca.

 

 

 

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