The classroom expands far beyond four walls for 9th graders at the Learning Center Charter School. In addition to gardens and green space on the campus, the school also encompasses The Outdoor Learning Center (TOLC) that includes hiking trails, fire pits with bench seating, an outdoor screened classroom, and plenty of forest to explore.
On October 6th, 9th graders toured this adjoining outdoor space and learned about the history and ecology of the land and its unique place both geographically and historically within the community.
Director of business and operations for the school, Mary Jo Dyre, led the tour as she pointed out its location along the Valley River, natural springs on the property, Cherokee burial sites, mountain bike trails, and more.
“Our outdoor learning center is rich in offerings for our students and truly is a living laboratory for lessons in science, history, culture, outdoor skills, forest management, and more,” said Dyre.
Dyre added that all grades from kindergarten through 9th grade spend time in the outdoor learning center.
“When I see our students using this outdoor space, I always remind them to be caretakers of this land and improve it for others to use,” said Dyre.