Teva Means Nature: Outdoor Program

Program dates: December 8 - January 29
Options to sign up for Tuesdays and Wednesdays OR Thursdays and Fridays

Tue/Wed (1-2pm)    OR    Thurs/Fri (9:30-10:30)

12/8-12/9                          12/10-12/11
12/15-12/16                      12/17-12/18
1/5-1/6                               1/7-1/8
1/12-1/13                           1/14-1/15
1/19-1/20                           1/21-1/22
1/26-1/27                           1/28-1/29

Cost: $500 per session/per family 

Class meets at Harold Washington Park (across the street from Akiba), unless otherwise notified about another green space in Hyde Park.  


See this article about our first Teva Means Nature session for photos as well as parent and teacher feedback.

Education that takes place outside has long been recognized as a positive factor in children’s wellbeing. Numerous studies have proven physical, social and emotional gains that support the anecdotal evidence that we feel better when we spend time outside. Covid-19 has added incentive to teach and explore outdoors. Akiba-Schechter is making a special effort to meet the needs of our families by offering an outdoors nature program. 

The program is led by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director; Naomi Cobb, Master Naturalist and Akiba grandmother; Susan Carton, preschool teacher and Illinois Master Naturalist; and Becky Rubin, Library and Parent-Tot teacher.

This program integrates Akiba traditions of creating a Jewish community, Reggio Inspired methodology and outdoor inquiry. We explore nature through a Jewish lens. Families are offered materials/activities to take with them in order to extend the inquiry at home. This unique pod of children and adults provides a safe way to stay connected to the Akiba community and to each other.

Program Goal:

Create an empathic connection to each other and the natural world through outdoor inquiry.

Potential Inquiries:

New Year - look at what it means to begin a new year together outdoors

Home – where do insects, birds, mammals go for shelter

Change – observe and reflect upon the changes in nature

This program is open to children ages 0-6 with one parent or caregiver, space is limited. Everyone over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask, and provide their own camping chair and  beach towel). Families may want to purchase adequate all weather clothing as we hope to be able to meet on colder days. All participants will be required to perform a daily health assessment and abide by the social contract as outlined to the entire Akiba community. Details will be provided upon registration.  

As another way to stay connected with this community, we will meet every Friday in the late afternoon on Zoom to celebrate Shabbat and reflect on our week.