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10-18-21 — Elementary Students Enjoy New Outdoor Classrooms

Oct. 18, 2021 ~ Outdoor classrooms are the perfect place for educators to bring students into a new environment to learn a new skill.

Canyon Creek Elementary staff just installed their new multipurpose metal benches in the middle of their "Giving Grove," sponsored by the school's PTO.

"We are so excited about this outdoor learning space that will help foster learning for our students," Canyon Creek Elementary Principal Christy James said. "The space is surrounded by our Giving Grove, where we are growing apples and pears to give to our community members in need."

Meadow Lane Elementary students have a dedicated spot for their learning outdoors thanks to their generous PTO.

Courtney Hallenbeck, instructional coach at Olathe Northwest High School and past Meadow Lane PTO president, was involved in the entire process when a simple idea became a reality.

“Having kids interact with their curriculum in a hands-on way definitely promotes areas such as problem solving, creativity and much more. The neon classroom furniture even has components that promote teamwork and cooperative learnings,” Hallenbeck said. “These skills of being able to work together stretch far beyond any content standard and are life-long skills that the students will thrive from practicing. Plus, who doesn't love a little sunshine? I know for me stepping outside for fresh air and sun can turn any bad day around.”

Students across the district have enjoyed learning outdoors due to its physical, social, emotional, and mental health benefits.