What is the Outdoor Classroom?

The Outdoor Classroom is a vision to transform a largely underused interior courtyard between Sligo Creek Elementary School and Silver Spring International Middle School into an educational resource for students and teachers. Kids, parents, teachers and administrators - working together - plan to create a natural space for hands-on, practical learning opportunities for students across a wide variety of disciplines, including math, science, literacy and the arts.

The Outdoor classroom will be:
  • a beautiful and inspiring space where students spend time with nature;
  • a learning laboratory that allows teachers to turn lesson plans into life lessons about cooperation, discovery and reponsibility;
  • a place to explore the environment through wildlife habitat, weather observation, composting, and growing your own food;
  • a source of discovery for students ages 5-14.
  • a new way for parents to engage in their child's education.

The Outdoor Classroom already features an 800 square foot conservation garden, planted in April 2013, where native perennials are currently in bloom and hosting countless pollinators for students to study.  Last spring, grades 1 – 3 participated in a pilot edible garden project, in which students planted salad fixings, watered them for 6 weeks and then celebrated by harvesting the lettuces and radishes and having “Salad Parties,” supported in part by contributions from our local Whole Foods. We are in the process of designing a stage with another corporate partner, Westfield Malls, for construction in the Spring of 2014. We are also expanding our edible garden program and looking to design a pond and additional features.  To complete these exciting projects in the Outdoor Classroom, we need lots of volunteers - we welcome your help, ideas, leadership and people-power!  No experience is necessary. 

 Please contact Debbie Boger at [email protected] if you are interested in getting involved.