We visited Nature's Classroom at Bauer Park and found teacher Shari Lariviere strumming her guitar under a shady tree while her young charges tapped drums and clapped hands to the tune. Soon it was time to paint clay pots and plant seeds for Mother's Day presents. After a snack break and a short story about a day in the life of a bullfrog, it was off to the pond on a scavenger hunt that capped off the day.
The Madison Beach and Recreation Department program for preschool age children meets each Tuesday at Bauer Park and offers the kids a range of learning and exploration activities taught by Lariviere who has been a teacher for nearly 20 years.
Lariviere told us that she tries to incorporate music, story reading and lots on hands on exploration for the kids in each session that leads to "letting them learn what they want to learn." Her primary goal, she told us is "to teach kids that learning is fun."