About Us

Science has proven that an increase in "screen time" and decrease in time spent outdoors have an adverse effect on children. Contact with nature awakens our senses. By allowing children to explore and spend time with nature, we can foster and renew this connection with the natural world, which has been lost to classrooms and technology.  *Louv (2008) states that

“Natural play strengthens children’s self-confidence and arouses their senses” (p. 186).  

 

Children who learn and play outdoors are healthier and more socially well-adjusted, not to mention, their attention span is superior to children who spend the majority of their time indoors.  Our program addresses the whole child, his or her cognitive development, of course; but also social, emotional, communication and self-help areas of development.

*Louv,R. (2008). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder (Updated and expanded). Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Landis Woods Nature Preschool is owned by Manheim Township and operates under the guidance and support of the Recreation and Park Planning Department.

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Meet the Staff

Matt Geyer

Lead Teacher

Mr. Matt Geyer

Lead Teacher

I graduated from Albright college with a B.S. in Psychology. I received My M.S. in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from Drexel University. I grew up in Lancaster County. I live in Lebanon County with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy spending time with family, raising poultry and livestock and being outdoors. I volunteer as a 4-H leader in Lebanon County.
 

I graduated from Albright college with a B.S. in Psychology. I received My M.S. Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from Drexel University. I grew up in Lancaster County. I live in Lebanon County with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy spending time with family, raising poultry and livestock and being outdoors. I volunteer as a 4-H leader in Lebanon County.
 

Linda Groff

Preschool Aide

I graduated from PA College of Art & Design and spent many
years as a Kindergarten Aide with the Manheim Township School District. I enjoy camping and exploring with my family. I am looking forward to another year of great nature experiences!

Preschool Aide

I earned my B.A. in Social Work from Millersville University and have worked with children of all ages in various settings. I have volunteered at camp retreats for children and youth, and recently spent part of the summer in Montana in a Nature and Yoga program.

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Naomi Roberts
 

I am currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education
with a focus on special education. I love the arts and look forward to spending time with the children
dancing and singing!

Alex
Van Pelt

Program Manager

Mr. Alex Van Pelt

I graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management with a focus in Environmental Interpretation. I grew up in York County but have lived in Lancaster County for the past few years. I enjoy working in my garden and exploring the outdoors.
 

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Joanna 
Mellinger

Preschool Aide