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Allie Rigby
Allie is an outdoor educator and writer who writes about the arts, mental health, intersectional feminism, environmental justice, and more. She’s also a poet.

*Article originally published here with the California Collaborative for Educational Experience (CCEE).

Two boys in button-down shirts are in the forest, and one is smelling a cone flower in bloom.
Two boys in button-down shirts are in the forest, and one is smelling a cone flower in bloom.
The benefits of outdoor learning spaces are numerous.

As public parks and schools continue to open across California, this summer will feel different than last. Now is the time to expand outdoor learning programs and, in anticipation for fall, build school communities that heal.

There are plenty of inspiring case studies and free resources available now for outdoor learning, made possible by the National Covid-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative. Healthy outdoor spaces are vital for students, schools, and entire communities.

In the first few months of the pandemic, it became clear that administrators and educators would need support and resources for schools to reopen safely. Outdoor spaces offer […]

To continue reading this article, please visit its original publication at https://ccee-ca.org/blog-category/hot-topics/national-covid-19-outdoor-learning-initiative/.


21 photos of artist portraits who are featured in an anthology called The Beirut Call.
21 photos of artist portraits who are featured in an anthology called The Beirut Call.
This summer marks the release of the anthology The Beirut Call: Harnessing Creativity for Change, a collection from Elyssar Press.

This summer marks the release of the anthology The Beirut Call: Harnessing Creativity for Change, a collection from Elyssar Press that features the work of 21 artists, poets, professors, and activists exploring the theme of art as essential, especially in the wake of disasters.

The virtual book launch, hosted by the Shuffle Collective, celebrates this crucial anthology about resilience & resistance culture in Lebanon. Collectively, the art, poetry, academic testimonials, analyses, narratives, and stories in this work and demand social change.

Below are just a few highlights from this virtual event, which you can watch and leave a comment on our Elyssar Press YouTube channel.

To continue reading this blog, please read the full article on Elyssar Press. Thank you!


Day Scott in the field, photographed here by Craig Okraska.

In our Educator Highlights, we go behind-the-scenes with educators who inspire us. This season, we’re excited to feature Day Scott, a wildlife photographer, environmental educator, and birder known for her playful and educational social media posts aka “Bird Stories” on Instagram as @TheWildernessGoddess.

Day hopes that her work as a naturalist and wildlife photographer encourages everybody “to get out and explore the natural world,” but more importantly she wants to “inspire and influence those closest to her heart — kids from underserved communities, people with disabilities, and survivors.”

For the full interview, enjoy the piece below and share with a…


Acorn Naturalists’ yearly catalog covers are always a delight that features the work of talented artists.

During the 1990s, educators of all kinds needed more support. Many did not have access to resources for their lessons involving environmental and outdoor education. Acorn Naturalists launched to expand the impact, consistency, and quality of nature-based learning. Check out our Welcome Video for a little more on our story.

Our two co-founders created a place for people to find educational tools, nature-focused activities, field equipment, and more.

“We wanted to create an ethical company that people could depend on for new ideas, resources, and inspiration.”

-Jenny, co-founder

All of our products are centered around outdoor education, exploration, nature inquiry…


This summer marks the much-anticipated release of the anthology The Beirut Call: Harnessing Creativity for Change. This collection from Elyssar Press features the work of 21 artists, poets, professors, and activists, who together are exploring the theme of how — in the words of Dr. Mitri Raheb — “art is a necessity” and “a political tool.”

You can watch the 30-minute Behind-the-Scenes Interview of The Beirut Call by clicking that link, or by going directly to our Elyssar Press YouTube Channel. Thank you so much to Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Dr. Mitri Raheb, and Ms. …


*Originally published here for Elyssar Press.

The short story is a lot like the 800-meter dash. Which to be clear, is not a dash at all.

Happy Short Story Month, everyone! No two scholars agree on what makes a compelling short story, but many critics and writers agree on one thing: short stories are hard to write.

The short story is a lot like the 800-meter dash. Which to be clear, is not a dash at all: it is an extensive and grueling experience. This middle distance event demands the endurance of a long-distance event (aka, the novel) with the bursts of a quick sprints (aka, the poem). It is the impossible race. It is the race that requires a…


Woman in front of whiteboard brainstorming ideas around writing.
Woman in front of whiteboard brainstorming ideas around writing.
Across grade levels, the principles of teaching creative writing are the same.

Creative writing, poetry, and placemaking are all ways to connect complex scientific ideas and to explore relationships to the environment. Writing, and the various ways in which humans share ideas and stories, is also part of a longer tradition of storytelling. For thousands of years, humans have expanded the confines of language to define and redefine cultural values and to understand connections to places and community.

Please read the full article on the Ten Strands website, available at https://tenstrands.org/place-based-learning/poetry-and-placemaking-establishing-meaning-and-connection-in-nature/.


Celebrate. Explore. Act. That’s what the folks at Acorn Naturalists like to do on each Earth Day.

We hold the old adage, “Everyday is Earth Day,” close to our hearts, and also acknowledge that it is nice to have one specific day each year to recenter our intentions and connection to the land beneath our feet. Whether it’s Earth Day or “Earth Year” for you, we have lots of ideas.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this month? This spring? Here are five ways to celebrate, explore, and act. Let us know how it goes in the comments below, or if you have additional ideas to share. We’d love to hear from you!

Get Outside

You could have predicted…


Three writers & professors on how words have always had power.

Last week, I listened to a talk by activist and professor Loretta J. Ross who explained the historic link between cancel culture, hate speech, and white supremacy. Ross explained that her aim to make her teachings around this topic more accessible, extending beyond her courses as a professor at Smith College.

Ross’s talk is available to watch for $5.00. Image shows a profile picture from Creative Commons of Loretta J. Ross.
Ross’s talk is available to watch for $5.00. Image shows a profile picture from Creative Commons of Loretta J. Ross.
Ross’s talk is available to watch for $5.00. She covers many topics, as well as a brief history of hate speech and “cancel culture” in America. Image courtesy of Creative Commons.

Ross’s talk discussed several recent racist attacks and their link to a general rise (as well as history) of hate speech in America. More so, Ross also expressed frustration that many activists, professors, writers, etc., are told they are “over-reacting” to events by calling them hate crimes.

According to…


*Article originally published here for Elyssar Press.

The Beirut Call, coming out this April, is one of Nabad’s latest projects in Lebanon. This anthology offers a collection of first-hand accounts by artists, scholars, poets, and activists exploring the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion on August 4th of 2020. Over 20 voices have come together for this publication and proceeds from The Beirut Call will help NABAD continue to fund artists, art NGOs, and locally-owned creative enterprises in Lebanon.

For this publication, Elyssar Press has partnered with the nonprofit Nabad, an outgrowth of the Dar al-Kalima University. …

Allie Rigby

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