BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — From 9am until 11:30am 14 three and four year-olds learn their ABCs and 123s at the Preschool at The Buffalo Zoo. For five years, the exotic animals have played a backdrop and learning tool for these students.
"Children have a natural affinity for nature and what better place for that than the zoo," Tiffany Vanderwerf, Deputy Director of the Zoo said. "We don't follow a set curriculum. While they are learning all the basics, they learn through projects."
The learning is centered around what the students want to learn about. Last week the students learned about Polar bears, made a chicken noodle soup and dog food snack for the bears, and got to see they up close in person.
"Having this on the zoo grounds they have this whole zoo to learn through nature and play and projects," Caitlin Mulcahy said. Her daughter Hadley has been at the school for two years now and she says she wanted to send her daughter to a preschool that focused on learning about nature.
"She isn't afraid of animals, she respects them," Mulcahy said. "She has learned about the importance of ecosystems."
The first winter open house will be in February and there's already a waiting list for next year's class.