Branching Out

Connecting youth in the city with nature

About the Program

Branching Out programs are way more than a classroom visit or a field trip – they are partnerships with schools and social service agencies to provide ongoing and regular programs AT the school site. Imago works closely with each partner to design programs that will fit the students’ needs and interests. Imago’s trained educators lead students outside at least once a week with hands-on, educational lessons and activities.

Why are these experiences important?

For two reasons; 1) Science is showing that time in nature is incredibly important to our health, happiness and wellness. When we spend time outdoors, we are less stressed, more creative, better learners, healthier and happier. Regular time in nature should be a part of every child’s life. 2) Unfortunately, for several reasons, we are spending less and less time in nature. This is especially true for people living in dense urban areas.

Through our Branching Out Programs, we are providing the benefits of time in nature, to the people who need it the most, and while doing so we are providing high-quality, educational and civic experiences that support our students’ learning and will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Program Qualities

Ongoing and Regular
Our students participate in our programs on a regular basis, as opposed to infrequent “special” experiences.

Educational
We work closely with our partners to design and lead experiences that will enhance classroom education.

Easily Accessible
We create outdoor learning at our partners’ facilities. We want nature to feel familiar and close-by. We want our students to have a connection the outdoor areas that are close to them.

Hands On and Fun
All of our programs are designed to encourage hands-on exploration and inquiry.

Fostering Future Environmental Leaders
Branching Out programs enhance a sense of community and leadership in our
students. We are fostering the development of the next generation of green leaders.

Current Partners

Pleasant Ridge Montessori
Our signature partner. PRM is a Cincinnati Public School that serves a diverse student body, from several nearby neighborhoods. All students in grades K – 3rd, participate in a weekly outdoor education program, led by one of our educators.

Academy of World Languages
Imago leads a weekly outdoor afterschool program at AWL. Students design gardens and natural areas while exploring the outdoors and building new skills. We offer this program through support from the Miami Group Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The International Welcome Center
IWC is a social service agency serving recent immigrants to Cincinnati. Imago leads an afterschool group for the children of parents that are taking ESL classes. Students work on and explore the gardens, fields and woods on the campus of Roberts Academy.

Get Involved

Become a Partner!
There are MANY ways to partner with us and participate in Branching Out programs. Partnerships can include teacher support, curriculum building, creating outdoor education learning sites, and leading regular outdoor education programs for your students. Contact us to begin the conversation!

Donate
Your contributions make our programs possible. Our enduring goal is to make Branching Out programs available to any partner that is interested, but that can only happen with your support. You can make a donation online, or contact us by email or phone (513-921-5124) to make a donation over the phone or by mail.

Volunteer
Help us lead Branching Out programs for our partners. Volunteers are a crucial help to our programs and they are really fun. Volunteer commitments tend to be weekly for about an hour each week (but can be tailored to be more or less). Contact us about your interest in volunteering and we can share more information.