Central Manitoulin Public School is calling on all citizens to “vote, vote, vote” so they have a chance to win an outdoor learning classroom through the CST Inspired Minds Learning Project.
The concept for the outdoor learning classroom (idea #963) was posted on learningproject.cst.org by idea pioneer Deanna Lewis. She’s a Registered Early Childhood Educator with Manitoulin Family Resources, which operates the daycare at Central Manitoulin Public School in Mindemoya.
The outdoor learning classroom features an assortment of trees and plants, artistic panels, gravel and surfacing, sensory items, multiple log work, furnishings like stump tables, rope climbers, boardwalk and deck platforms, boulders, a retaining wall, fencing, and curriculum cupboards.
Prizes are awarded based on a combination of popular online voting and a judging panel. The Top 20 vote getting ideas move on to the judging round. Projects are judged on innovation, impact and viability.
“Everyone can vote up to three times a day on Facebook and the link on the webpage,” says Central Manitoulin Public School Principal Tracey Chapman. “We want everyone to vote early and vote often so we can move on to the judging round.”
Voting takes place from May 2 to May 16, 2016 at the following links:
Principal Chapman commended Deanna Lewis for proposing the idea. “Central Manitoulin Public School and Manitoulin Family Resources share the schoolyard,” she says. “All children will benefit from this innovative outdoor learning environment.”
“In an outdoor learning environment children learn through what they do, through what they encounter, and through what they discover,” says Deanne Lewis. “Outdoor learning broadens horizons and stimulates new interests. Learning through play outdoors increases flexibility, fine and gross motor skills, and is related to the development of a wide variety of physical skills.”
She adds: “Children benefit from spending substantial time outdoors. Being outdoors increases the ways of developing an interest in reading and writing, fosters an interest in science and math, and encourages healthy habits by providing opportunities for vigorous physical activity. In the outdoor learning environment, children connect to the natural world, and learn from what nature has to teach us. This outdoor learning environment will also provide habitats for insects, from birds, to bugs, to bees.”