RIK Nature, the environmental education component of our Randallís Island Kids program, since 2001, has offered a rare opportunity
for local public elementary and middle school students and teachers to explore natural wetland and forest sites at the Park. The program
is a collaborative effort between RISF, the Director and staff of Bank Street College of Educationís Tiorati Workshop for Environmental
Learning and Department of Mathematics, and classroom teachers. RIK Nature offers a unique hands-on approach to the environment
and enables teachers and students to bring the impact of the experience back to their classrooms and communities.
RISFís RIK Nature program is, at base, a concentrated and comprehensive environmental education program, comprising interdisciplinary
activities that foster science, mathematics and literacy skills in participating students. RIK Nature is also, however, a unique and remarkable
opportunity for local inner-city children to discover and be amazed by the range of animal, bird, plant and marine life flourishing so close to
their homes and schools. Certainly, asphalt predominates in Harlem, and few local children are aware of what lies beyond. As participants
in RIK Nature, the students who visit the open grassy meadows, natural woodlands and scenic shoreline of the 480-acre Randallís Island Park
find considerably expanded horizons.
The programís curriculum is strongly inquiry-based, yet also geared toward full inclusion within the required school curricula. Regular planning
and evaluation meetings between the public school teachers and program staff help ensure that student discoveries lead to stimulating and challenging projects.
In this way, the program encourages and builds upon studentsí growing interest in and stewardship of their environment while also meeting science and mathematics
education standards. In the meantime, dedicated, innovative and talented local teachers are provided with valuable professional development and support.
RIK Nature funding is provided by grants from the Hudson River Foundation, the Heineman Foundation for Research, Educational, Charitable and Scientific Purposes,
the Bay and Paul Foundation and Con Edison.
If you would like to
support RIK Nature