Rhea Elementary School Outdoor Classroom

The Henry Co SWCD awarded two Conservation Education Grant to Rhea Elementary School for a "Think Outside...No Box Required" Outdoor Classroom and Mini Garden.  These grants helped transform an open area into an outdoor classroom and learning environment that will serve students and teachers from preschool through 2nd grade.  The SWCD grants were used to construct a stage and benches, tables, permanent benches, and ground cover.  There will be several learning areas set up for learning including large harvest tables that will seat 20+ students for class projects, an ampitheater area with a stage and benches, a garden center with multiple raised beds, and several smaller creative areas including a bridge, a construction space, a fairy/dinosaur garden, and a sensory garden.  Erin Sinclair, Rhea STEAM teacher, stated "This area will provide students the opportunities to 1) observe, measure, and chart changes in native plant species throughout the year, 2) learn about our natural environment and living things, and 3) encourage creativity, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and team work."  They also plan to begin a "Garden Club" for students to help with the planning and upkeep of the garden space.  We know the outdoor classroom will be an amazing way to encourage hands on learning and are excited to see the progress of this project.