Place-centered Education for Children and Families
At Emerald Heart, we honor and nourish relationships to ourselves, each other and Earth. We value the dynamic landscape of our forest home and the unique inner landscape of each child.
We believe that our direct experiences in, with and as nature are beneficial to us and to our world--now and in the future. We foster love and gratitude for Earth through direct experiences with our beloved forest kin, who we consider our friends and wise teachers.
Our place-centered nature immersion programs and events are held in the Point Reyes area of coastal Marin County, California, unceded land of Coast Miwok.
Note from our director Taira: In late summer 2023, we closed our forest preschool, our signature program, due to lack of enrollment. This surprising change was difficult, but it opened our doors to a collaboration with a local homeschooling group with children 5 to 9 years old. Silver lining!
During these last months, Emerald Heart has worked in earnest with a new local nonprofit, In Place, whose focus is place-centered nature education. Just like us! We are excited to announce that in spring 2024, Emerald Heart offerings will be supported by and folded into In Place programming. This is fabulous for us as it means more community partnerships, a wider reach to include a wider range of families and more financial assistance. Thank you for your interest and your patience as we make these valuable changes.
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Teacher Taira. My son's first preschool experience was with Taira Restar, truly an expert at supporting early childhood.
I'll never forget that my son (aged 3 at the time) would get so overstimulated during free play that he would stand in the middle of the group and scream. How did Taira deal with it? She SAW him in all his intensity and sensitivity--really saw him. She created a plan for him to "help" her prepare snack in a different area BEFORE he melted down. Suddenly school became the safest place for him to be.
I'm not sure who learned more, my son or me.
What a gift Taira is and how fortunate that children get to attend Emerald Heart Forest School with such a master.
Alane Freund, MS, MA, ICHS
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
International Consultant on High Sensitivity
Thank you for all you did for Audrey this past year. I absolutely loved your forest school and all the amazing projects you did--pine cone crafts, scavenger hunts and art work. The words and messages you gave to these children are priceless. They have been given a real gift. I will always remind Audrey to continue the Kindness Club, practice gratitude and learn to recognize and appreciate the beauty and awesomeness of the natural world. I hope our paths cross again.
Rachel Pedemonte, RN
Intentional. Patience. It takes immense patience to be a preschool teacher; your continued investment in me as an individual has given me tenacity in myself.
former preschool student
You taught me how to be creative in a meaningful way. You taught me to use creative energy to spread ideas and love. You taught me how to have intention.
artist, college student
former girls' group participant