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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Natural, outdoor Discovery Area takes shape at Westlawn Elementary School

Chldren help with the digging and planting.
Parents, kids, and school staff have been making lots of progress on a new Discovery Area, a natural, outdoor play area on the grounds of Westlawn Elementary School.

The school received a $2,500 grant last fall from the Dominion K-12 Educational Partnership to get the project started.

It's all about having fun while exploring nature.
“Westlawn’s Outdoor Discovery Area provides an enriching, safe, and stress-free outdoor environment in which to learn,” said kindergarten teacher Carol Hunt. “It has provided students with engaging extensions of their classroom curriculum by offering additional opportunities to achieve academically, thus promoting best practices in education as real life experiences.” It is being developed as a partnership among the school staff, students, the Westlawn neighborhood, and the business community.

The Discovery Area will be used daily by all grade levels. Kindergartners are already participating in Spring Learning Stations there. They planted beans; dug a sand pit; took part in a scavenger hunt for animals, insects, and things they would see in the spring; and made a natural art project, a bug habitat, and a ladybug snack.

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