Planting the Seeds of Stewardship in Young Minds
Holistic Management International (HMI) is proud of our track record with the highly successful Kids on the Land program and pleased to be expanding its reach. We’re doing this in a variety of ways, including offering free program guides for use by educators, land owners and anyone with a passion for teaching children appreciation for nature and the land that sustains us all.
Kids on the Land
Delivers the Answers What are spiders good for, other than scaring your little sister? How do butterflies contribute to a stable environment? What do cows and windmills have in common? Since its inception in 2003, the Kids on the Land program has been explaining these kinds of concepts and sparking the imaginations of young children. In fact, we’ve educated, inspired, and engaged over 2,200 K-6 students in Texas. While the program is place-based, and was originally designed for the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, it can be adapted to any agricultural environment. Students from each grade learn different aspects of life on the land and how that land in turn sustains life. The educational experiences accommodate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles and participating students can come from local schools, churches, or other clubs and organizations.
The “Outdoor Education”
Connection Studies have documented that outdoor hands-on learning experiences work. Teaching science through curiosity and inquiry develops student understanding of the world around them. It puts them in direct contact with the world, providing students with a sense of place and their connection to it.
We’re Expanding the Program Because “Young” Is a Great Age to Learn
HMI’s slogan, “healthy land, sustainable future,” reflects our philosophy of educating land stewards about smart land use, while assisting them to enhance the land’s natural productivity. Kids on the Land reflects our belief that education should start at a young age with a healthy respect for nature. That’s why we created the program, and are now expanding it, making it freely available to communities around the world.
Meet Peggy Maddox, the Woman Who Started it All
Peggy has been the Director of Education at HMI’s West Ranch since 2002. It was here that her “kids and nature” lightbulb lit up, leading her to develop the Kids on the Land program. Peggy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education in 1985. Prior to joining HMI, Peggy taught public school for 17 years. She developed and taught the program for Gifted/Talented Students in grades 5-8 in Sweetwater, Texas. Peggy was twice named Teacher of the Year for her region and was the Texas Association for Gifted/ Talented Teacher of the Year in 2001. She was recognized by the Lt. Governor of Texas for her work as a teacher of young environmentalists. In 2002 she received the Rachel Carson Women in Science Award from a group of Texas environmental organizations.
How to Implement a Program in Your Area
HMI has created a guide for developing your own Kids on the Land program as well as detailed program implementation guides for each grade level. These can be downloaded for free from here.
Should you desire further assistance in implementing the program at your site, HMI can help.
Up to two hours of free telephone consultation are available from HMI staff, including KOL program creator and Holistic Management® Certified Educator, Peggy Maddox
Additional hours of phone consultation are $50 per hour
HMI consultants can come to your site for one day of consultation: $600 plus travel expenses
As a 501c3 nonprofit, HMI is structured to generate funding or partners to support your efforts. Contact us to discuss opportunities.
What Kind of Things do Kids Learn?
Kindergarten: “People, Plants, Animals” Begin to understand that people, plants, and animals are part of the whole
First Grade: “Spectacular Spiders” Grasp the concept that spiders are an important part of our community of species
Second Grade: “Beautiful Butterflies” Understand that a diversity of species leads to a stable environment
Fourth Grade: “PSI: Plant Scene Identification” Understand that animal impact helps create biodiversity
Fifth Grade: “Water Here, Water Tomorrow” Discover how land management helps improve the water cycle
Sixth Grade: “Healthy Soil Is Covered Soil” Learn the connection between healthy soil, healthy people and a sustainable future
We offer program guides as part of our free downloads library.