CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- October 20 was an exciting day at Page Jackson Elementary School when students, staff, and volunteers attended a grand opening for the new outdoor classroom space. Page Jackson Kindergarten Teacher Jennifer Walter said she was inspired to create the outdoor learning spaces during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She said she was overwhelmed with support from local organizations and volunteers from groups like Engineers Without Borders (EWB).
There are six outdoor learning spaces across the Page Jackson Elementary School campus. Those spaces include a Related Arts Space and continued to the butterfly garden, a Wetland/Math/Science Station, a Literacy Spot, a Shady Shelter for reading and teaching, and a Mud Kitchen and Garden. Ms. Walter said being outside in nature gives students new opportunities to learn.
“It’s ever-changing and evolving we might come out one day and build something and then animals have come along that night or the wind has come or like the seasons are changing."
Walter said the outdoor classrooms are already popular and has offered sample lesson plans for each area.
“It not only covers academics that you don’t have to do with pencil and paper, but it covers like social/emotional, and it gets their energy out and their senses are heightened because we’re outside and there’s so many sensory things."
Walter credited numerous businesses, organizations, and volunteers with making the outdoor classroom a reality. She hopes to continue expanding them in the future.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Stone and Steel- Stohl Family
Home Depot of Ranson, WV – Store Manager Lori L. Clark
Walmart of Charles Town, WV- Store Manager Robert Paich
Engineers Without Borders International, Inc.
Jefferson County Schools
Page Jackson Faculty Senate
Walter also thanked the volunteers for the endless hours of time, labor, and dedication to the project.
Roger Either, Charles Watson, Charles Dave Curfman, Ismail Celic, Richard & Meg Brager, Jim and Sam Jenkins, Ronda & Charles Drummond, David Stohl, John Stohl, Davis Stohl, Jr., Carl Stohl 3rd, PJE Staff, and PJE Families!