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The Mary Kay FoundationSM and Mary Kay Inc. have partnered with The Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation to bring a unique tool to women’s shelters – Nature Explore Classrooms.

Nature Explore Classrooms are outdoor learning spaces designed to include nature in the daily lives and learning of children. Research shows that nature can help soften the impact of life stress on children and help them deal with adversity. It also helps reduce or eliminate anti-social behavior which can occur in children who have experienced or witnessed abuse.

Nature Explore Classrooms are traditionally constructed in areas such as schools, parks and child care centers. However, children who are currently residing at a domestic violence shelter with their mothers rarely have access to these locations because of the precarious nature of protecting a mother and a child from a potential abuser. Along with the outdoor area, each Nature Explore Classroom includes a curriculum with details on how to fully maximize the educational opportunities and healing effects of the outdoor environment.

Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay FoundationSM have funded 13 Nature Explore Classrooms since 2009. Women’s shelters in Texas, Georgia, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado and Massachusetts have received this wonderful gift from Mary Kay. The Nature Explore Classroom is funded entirely by Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay FoundationSM and is an investment totaling more than $50,000.

If you serve women and children and are interested in being considered for a Nature Explore Classroom, please complete the application here and send 2-3 photos of the proposed site for the Nature Explore Classroom to pinkchanginglives@mkcorp.com. Please make sure the subject line reads “Nature Explore Classroom – [shelter name] Photos.” We must have photos to review your application.

Applicants who are being considered will be contacted by Mary Kay for a potential site visit. After the site visits, finalists are selected and informed via phone. Mary Kay will then connect the recipients to The Arbor Day Foundation to begin the planning phase of creating your customized Nature Explore Classroom.

To learn more about Mary Kay’s commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness, visit http://www.marykay.com/company/socialresponsibility/default.aspx.

Thanks for all that you do to help women and children.

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Mary Kay Inc. is the major corporate sponsor of The Mary Kay Foundation. Because of the Company’s generous support, more than 97 percent of dollars donated by supporters like you can go directly to programs and research. Less than three percent goes to administrative and overhead costs.
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