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Ijams to launch full day “Nature Preschool” this fall

A unique full time preschool is set to open its doors for the first time this fall.
Ijams Nature Center Preschool students exploring.
Ijams Nature Center Preschool students exploring.(Ijams Nature Center)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 10:57 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -A unique full time preschool is set to open its doors for the first time this fall. While Ijams Nature Center has offered half-day preschool in the past, this will be an expanded experience.

“Parents need places for their kids to go,” Education Director Jennie McGuigan said. “They are ready to go back to school. They are ready for something, and we’ve got a really great opportunity to have kids outside for half or more of their day.”

Ijams Nature Center is now enrolling for their first ever full time nature preschool. The school opening full time will be a first in the state.

“We’ve got over 500 acres of classroom trails, manicured trails, lawns, cute little water sources and gardens with flowers just outside the building,” McGuigan said.

Small groups of students will explore together, learning outside understanding nature first hand. McGuigan said the setting makes all the difference.

“It’s really good for calming kids,” McGuigan said. “Giving them lots of opportunities to grow, and develop their cognitive awareness. That interaction piece, interacting with something in real time it’s just a different and better experience.”

Ijams Nature Preschool costs $9,000 annually, but scholarships are available. They also will offer after care for an additional fee.

The preschool is hosting an open house Sunday, July 12, or Saturday, July 18, from noon to 4 p.m. No registration is required to attend.

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