The seeds for Piedmont Forest School were planted in 2018 at Little Creek Park and Greenway in Winston-Salem, NC with the launching of an exciting and edifying summer camp experience to children in the summers of 2019 and 2020.
Sheri Grace, PhD. – an early-childhood expert and one of the founders of this summer camp – envisioned an environment where all children of all economic and cultural backgrounds could access and benefit from this forest school experience. With the help of Cole Kampen, current Chair of the PFS Board, this vision was realized and Piedmont Forest School was founded as a non-profit in the fall of 2020 while also expanding programs to Oak Ridge. Additionally, with the support from our Board members, and the families of the children we serve, Piedmont Forest School has been able to steadily grow, blossoming into an essential, vibrant part of our community.
While an increasing share of a child's typical day is spent indoors, we believe the importance of frequent and extended time in nature remains significant. The outdoor environment provides a beautifully stimulating learning arena for children of all ages. Through a partnership with trained educators, children thrive in all developmental areas here at Piedmont Forest School, including STEM, literacy and language (English and Spanish), social, emotional, creative, and physical development.
We offer progressive, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate programs for children of all backgrounds and levels of ability. As a non-profit, we have been able to welcome a diverse group of forest school learners at our two sites, serving nearly 100 children every week between both sites. We are excited to be contributing such a valuable early childhood experience to the families in our communities!
The mission of Piedmont Forest School is to provide to children of all abilities and backgrounds authentic forest school and nature-based education programs which foster the development of the whole child, while engendering in them a love of and a commitment to caring for the natural world.
We envision progressive and equitable educational programs where children of all abilities and backgrounds learn together year-round through creative play while immersed in nature.