While his claim to fame might be as a retired racing sausage for the Milwaukee Brewers, Peter Dargatz is prouder for being a father of three nature-loving children, a national board-certified teacher, and the coordinator of a well-respected, public school nature kindergarten program at Woodside Elementary in Sussex, Wisconsin. Transitioning his classroom from the inside to outside has allowed him to create and develop his “4P’s” philosophy, focusing on play-based, place-based, project-based, and personalized learning. This philosophy’s foundations are cemented in play, citizen science, service learning, and community collaborations.
Along with the nature kindergarten program. Peter is the coordinator for an all-school collaboration with the Retzer Nature Center and a district-wide family nature club. He is also the volunteer coordinator for the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Tyke Hike program, aimed at getting families of young children out in nature using Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Additionally, he is a founding member of the Wisconsin Nature-Based Early Childhood Association (WINBECA), a board member for the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE), and one of the contributing writers to Natural Start Alliance’s Nature-Based Preschool Professional Practice Guidebook. His first book, Teaching Off Trail, is available from Redleaf Press.
Follow Peter and all of his play and outdoor adventures at peterdargatz.com.