Founder/Educator & Where it all began
Rhonda has extensive experience in Early Childhood Education and Child Social Services. She holds a Social Work Degree from Rhode Island College. Her work-related expertise is both broad and extensive and includes:
She provided counseling and emotional support for terminally ill patients as part of Hospice Outreach, where she co-facilitated both the adult bereavement support group and the child bereavement support group.
Counseling emotionally disturbed adolescents and children in crisis as a Child Care Counselor. She was also responsible for implementing and documenting all clinical and educational service programs with this position.
Child Protective Social Worker for the Department of Social Services, where she helped families with children from birth to 18 years of age.
Provider Education and Enhancement Coordinator/Kindergarten Readiness Coordinator for the Nantucket Public Schools/C.N.C.
Rhonda has been nurturing and connecting children to nature since 1998, when she founded Pollywogs Playschool. Pollywogs Playschool began as a play-based program with regular excursions to our island's natural spaces.
Rhonda has been inspired by many who have come before her, including Zoe Weil. In 2003 after reading Zoe Weil's book Above All Be Kind, Rhonda decided to make nature the focus & curriculum at Pollywogs without even knowing there was such a thing as nature-based preschools. It just felt right.
With continued study and practice of over 23 years, Rhonda's unique and personal philosophy has evolved and grown into what it is today.
Rhonda has completed ongoing Professional Development in Environmental Education & Nature-based Education for Early Childhood Educators to hone her craft. In August 2018, Rhonda earned her Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Teacher Certification at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, WA, with the esteemed Erin Kenny. Over the last two decades, Pollywogs has morphed into an authentic nature-based program, hence the slight name change.
Rhonda served on the Early Childhood Advisory Council for the Nantucket Community School and currently serves on the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools board of Directors.
In addition, Rhonda is licensed through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, is Red Cross certified in CPR and First Aid.
Last, but not least, she is the wife of Jeff Pollock and mother of three adult children- Molly, Sadie