Students Outdoors Year Round


Despite a cold and snowy January, second grade students at the Learning Center charter school were outside interacting with nature. In fact, students in kindergarten through 9th grade are regularly outdoors as part of their daily school activities at the school.


Second grade students finished learning about weather, seasons, and climate. Science teacher Emily Willey took the students out around campus and into the school’s Outdoor Learning Center to interact with nature and get up close with the forest during its dormant winter cycle.

“My second graders are now learning about our local watershed and the lakes that rise in the summer and lower in the winter,” said Willey. “These young students have made the connection that the seasons play a role in this and they love that winter gives us access to additional outdoor space to explore.”

Willey added that research shows that time spent in nature has numerous benefits for brain function, vitamin D absorption, and improved attention span and sleep patterns.

“Our teaching philosophy encourages expanding the classroom beyond the traditional four walls,” said Stephanie Hopper, Associate Academic Director. “Our campus gardens, Outdoor Learning Center and its screened classroom and fire pit, as well as close proximity to the River Walk in Murphy, offer ample choices for our teachers to get their students outside daily.”

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