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In September 2019, Diona became a Owner & Educator of Out Back Learning, LLC an outdoor (home-based provider) part-time nature preschool.
Diona was inspired to open Out Back Learning LLC by her desire to grow her knowledge in Early Childhood Education and discover new and innovative ways to work with young children.
She had an opportunity to attend a conference four years ago at Prescott College, where she learned about Nature-based Place and Play in Early Childhood Education. She was inspired by the movement so she implemented the ideas and knowledge with her students the following school year, which led to gardening and outdoor lessons. She decided to leave public education to pursue higher education and start this Nature-based Preschool Program. She is a full-time Early Childhood Education Professor at Tohono O'odham Community College. She has worked in various capacities with children from birth to age 8 for the last 20 years.
Since the start of Out Back Learning LLC Diona became a first time author to her children’s book series “Sweet Potato and Mud Pies.” She also created a podcast that highlights her experience in nature called Black in Nature, DRW Podcast Show interviewing early childhood professionals and sharing behind the scene stories of her children’s book series.
According to the most recent The National Association for the Education of Young... survey: While programs’ revenues decrease, their expenses are increasing. Diona spoke with the Arizona Association for the Education fo Young Children about her experiences adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic as the founder of Out Back Learning.
"Staying connected with kids and families because that's where my passion really lies."
I believe it's important for young children to connect with nature.
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