Our Staff

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Nicole Fravel


Ms. Fravel is a certified teacher, museum educator, and curriculum writer with over 15 years of experience educating young children. She holds a Master’s of Education from Stanford University and keeps up to date with current research and practices through memberships in the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the International Reading Association.

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Yo empecé primero siendo maestra en una escuela pública. Durante ese periodo, hubo un tiempo donde la escuela primaria empezó un programa llamado EVEN. Este programa está fundado con recursos monetarios públicos para niños que vienen de familias de bajos recursos y edades de 0 a 8 años.

Este programa provee una variedad de oportunidades de aprendizaje para que el niño/ la niña desde que nacen. El objetivo es que tengan más oportunidades de tener éxito en su futuro.

Uno de esos componentes de aprendizaje es el pre escolar.

Así que me ofrecieron tomar la iniciativa en los grados de pre escolar. Ahí me di cuenta que verdaderamente disfrutaba de la enseñanza a niños de edad más chica con tanta curiosidad, con tanto amor a la vida.

Cuando mi hijo mayor nació, me dí de baja de maternidad y no trabajé como maestra pero trabajé en un museo haciéndome cargo del programa de alcance para niños de edades de 0 a 5 años en centros de Head Start (Buen Comienzo) y diferentes organizaciones comunitarias. Enseñe programas de Arte y Música a todas las familias.

Ms. Fravel began her career teaching in public elementary schools and an Even Start preschool before accepting a challenge to help close the achievement gap for African American and Latino children. She served as School Partnership Director for a non-profit consulting organization working with schools in low-income communities.

In 2005, wanting to spend less time on the road and more time with her own children, Ms. Fravel accepted a position as early childhood educator at a well-regarded children’s museum, supervising programs for children under 5. In addition to creating programs for the museum floor, she created and delivered parent-child art, music, and science workshops for toddlers and preschoolers and outreach programs with nonprofit partners such as Head Start and the United Way. The educational curriculum she created for the museum includes a 10-week PeeWee Mariachi program combining music and language learning for toddlers and preschoolers; math, science, music, and art curricula for museum outreach programs; K-3 classroom guides for teachers to use in conjunction with school field trips to the children’s museum; and a pre-K through grade 5 educational curriculum for a science and math based exhibit that was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

In her various positions, Ms. Fravel has trained Americorps workers and college-aged museum staff on such topics as, “Learning Through Play,” “The Stages of Infant Development,” and “Teaching Writing to ESL Students.” She has been an invited presenter at conferences, including the Natural Start Alliance, conducting workshops on integrating nature and preschool education.

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of winder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs to companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
–Rachel Carcon

Sarah Damian


Sarah Damian is an outdoor educator, environmental writer, and long-time play advocate. She loves holding space for preschoolers’ learning journeys, a time when kids are gaining so many life skills through play, curiosity, and trial & error. Previously, Sarah coordinated the Trackers Earth Art of Nature afterschool program for K-2 students, who engaged in hands-on nature-themed projects daily. She has also taught art and nature-themed youth workshops in the Washington DC metropolitan area, and volunteered with Patterson Park Audubon Center in Baltimore in their outdoor classroom for neighboring public schools.

In addition to working with young people, Sarah has an extensive background in nonprofit communications and continues to support environmental education and advocacy efforts. In 2022, she developed an early childhood educator training for Free Forest School’s national network of caregivers about how to incorporate a child-led, outdoor emergent learning curriculum. Sarah is also an avid reader and book reviewer, recommending inclusive outdoor-themed picture books to fellow educators and community members. You can often find her birdwatching, moon-gazing, or going on intuitive wanders in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives and plays.

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