Left to Right: Sandy, Kim, Natasha, Megan, and Elizabeth
Sandy Babbitt comes out of the world of early intervention, early childhood speech and autism. Her love of nature started as a child, with parents who valued nature and convinced her that a Saturday spent working in the yard was family fun. She's a master gardener and avid reader of all subjects of nature. She loves teaching children and especially enjoys creating lessons that are hands on and playful, believing that this is the best way for young children to learn. Sandy is lead teacher and creator of our Nature School curriculums. You'll see her teaching all our core classes and assisting in Rooted Theater. She also teaches our youngest nature lovers in our Early Nature School classes.
Natasha Grogan's background is in special education, independent tutoring, and behavioral disorders. She is a community builder, mom of three littles, and a lover of local food. Natasha has a deep love for children's literature, believing that it offers children connections to history, life, emotions and dreams. She knows that any subject, even the "hard sciences", can be taught creatively and she proves it with our Rooted Math curriculum which she developed. Natasha has always loved time spent in nature, but after having children she witnessed, first hand, the benefits of "Vitamin N". Natasha is creator of our Rooted Math and our Rooted Literature curriculum and she co-teaches our project classes and Build. She's the person behind the scenes that does all our registration, communication and so much more!
Kimberly Chu came to Roots and Wings as a mom of a child in Nature School. Her connection with the team was immediate, and when another team member was needed she was the obvious choice. Kim brings with her a deep love of nature. She has immeasurable respect for a young child's value and esteemed place in the world. Before becoming a mom of 3 littles, she taught children's theater and directed children's shows in DC and Vermont. She also loves being behind the camera as a birth and family photographer. Kim is lead teacher and creator of our Rooted Theater curriculum. Kim is currently directing our Rooted Players in the performance of Frog and Toad.
Elizabeth Campbell's love of nature began when she spent time in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains every summer for Nature Camp. Her love of nature grew when she earned her degree from James Madison University where she spent lots of time outdoors exploring Shenandoah National Park. Elizabeth spent 7 years teaching first grade in South Carolina in a traditional classroom. She believes curious children will develop a lifelong love for learning when they are presented with lessons that are relevant, engaging and fun. Elizabeth is the mom of two littles, lover of dogs, traveling, people and kindness. Elizabeth is co-teaching our First and Second grade, Kindergarten/First and 4/early 5 classes. She's lead teacher and curriculum developer of our Nature Literature class and is integral to Roots and Wings running smoothly, day after day.
Megan Nigh joins our team as a co-teacher is our project classes. She is owner of Wild Orchard Homestead located in Travelers Rest, where she's lived since she was a child. Megan has two littles. She is a registered nurse, but is currently at home with her children. She has a passion for regenerative agriculture, flower farming, sourdough making, food preserving and so much more. Megan loves community building which makes her fit right in with Roots and Wings. Her spring plant sale is not to be missed! We love what Megan "brings to the table", both literally (Who doesn't love a good sourdough?) and figuratively, and we are happy she is a part of Roots and Wings. Megan co-teaches our K/1 class and our project classes.
Will Belue has been a part of Roots and Wings almost from its beginning. His family was one of the first families who joined us 5 years ago when we were just starting out. Will is co-teaching our 4K/5K class and our geography class. Will has three kids, sings in a band, is an outdoor enthusiast and a wilderness instructor. We are excited he is our team.
Welcome to Roots + Wings! We are growing and proud to be starting our 6th year in 2024. This year, we continue our journey through outdoor education in a new realm. We are officially a non-profit school and are excited about the prospects of expanding and sharing the importance and beauty of outdoor classrooms.
We are a mighty team of six, dedicated to outdoor education, positive school experiences, building community and raising children who engage with nature throughout their lives. Last summer, we moved into a new home that will serve us well in all weather! We love getting creative, finding ways for young children to learn through play, connecting nature-minded families and being a part of the Greenville community.
In 2024, with our rebooting as a nonprofit, we hope to provide outreach in our community, partner with other nonprofits, offer scholarships for our classes and seek both public and private grants to support our mission. We think the new Roots and Wings will be a force for nature education in the greater Greenville area and beyond.
~Natasha and Sandy