LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool Awarded Grant for Nature Learning

Preschoolers will participate in hands-on projects to improve the environment

students volunteer at school

ECELP students working in a learning garden. 


The newly-revamped Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool (ECELP) was awarded a grant from Project Learning Tree (PLT), an educational program that uses trees and forests as ways to increase students’ understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it.

The ECELP will use its GreenWorks! grant to build raised beds and install rain barrels for vegetable, herb, and butterfly gardens as an effective tool for young learners to experience, explore, and appreciate the environment.

“This grant is a great opportunity for the preschool and our students because it will really allow them to ‘learn by doing,’” ECELP Executive Director Cyndi DiCarlo said. “The garden project will bring children into meaningful contact with nature and provide opportunities for children to work collaboratively in caring for the garden. It’s all part of the Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy, in which children are encouraged to investigate and explore, and the environment is recognized for its potential to inspire young students.”

The ECELP is one of 20 schools awarded nationwide and is the only one in Louisiana to receive a PLT grant. The grant is part of PLT’s GreenWorks! Program, which awards grants to schools and organizations across the country for environmental service-learning projects.

The PLT grant was written in collaboration with an early childhood education doctoral student, Michelle Grantham-Caston, as part of her graduate training.


The LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool is a Reggio Emilia - inspired research facility within the School of Education and is aligned with undergraduate and graduate programs in Early Childhood Education. Embedded within the College of Human Sciences & Education, the ECE Lab Preschool serves as a laboratory for the generation of cutting-edge research in the areas of child development and education.

About SOE
The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Research, and Counseling, including two completely online master’s programs. SOE offers a range of professional and academic degree programs that focus on preparing students for careers in education, research, policy formation and implementation, as well as program oversight. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners, and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. SOE is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree programs, enrolling more than 2,020 undergraduate and 879 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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