Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Learning Outside in Boston

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative started with parents and teachers clamoring for safe places where they could tell kids to "go outside and play." As it has evolved, its new motto could be: "Go outside and learn."

The effort to renovate school sites and add "outdoor classrooms" has become a national model as cities struggle to address both childhood obesity and academic gaps.

Like many city schoolyards, Boston's had largely been paved over because old, rotting play structures posed safety hazards. The shortage of open green space for children became so acute that Mayor Thomas Menino launched the initiative in 1995, bringing together city and school leaders, local residents, and private funders to create inviting outdoor settings for schools and communities to share. - Christian Science Monitor

We absolutely need this in Wakefield. Over my years at the high school (and the Galvin as well), many students have begged teachers for us to go outside to learn. Come on. Does anybody actually use the courtyard? Maybe more kids would pay attention if we got the privilege of being outside.

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