Student Testimonials

  • "In GATE, I have learned about sustainability. Now that there are possibilities of a sustainable area being added to the school, I am thrilled. This will be a new opportunity for everyone. Even if this doesn't happen, at least we are taking steps to a better future."  - Max Tamburri, Grade 6 Student

    "I think that having an outdoor learning environment would be beneficial because it would give students a change in scenery.  I remember when my entire class would go out on a nature walk and it was my favorite part of the day.  The article ”Make Outdoor Learning Your Plan A,” states,” Research has shown that outdoor learning can have huge benefits on student mental health and academic performance. Students are often calmer and better able to focus when learning in nature, and teachers have reported better behavior and social interactions with fewer disciplinary issues.” - Sarah Lattari, Grade 6 Student

    "I think that a pavilion would enhance our learning experience and make students look forward to learning. In science class in 5th grade, we learn about ecosystems. A garden or potted plants in the pavilion would no doubt attract animals. This would create a mini-ecosystem and could enhance learning. It would be much more engaging to actually see in real life than to look at a smartboard. In 4th grade science, we learn about plants growing, germinating, etc. We could have potted plants growing in different stages of growth to help students see more than just a sped-up plant growing on a screen and give teachers a better visual reference. In art, the art teachers are bound to do something to do with plants, nature, or animals. Students could go out and try to make whatever it is that they are making more realistic or more creative. On top of that, a garden or rows of potted plants in the pavilions could make amazing learning or working space. Reading would be very nice and engaging, surrounded by plants, outside. When teachers bring the class outside at Explore, all of the students have to go with them. There are almost always a few kids who would rather stay inside to read, do homework, etc. Students could bring whatever they need into the garden pavilion and do their work there if they want to. According to Texas A&M Agrilife Study, "Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent." - Owen Tan, Grade 6 Student

Staff Testimonials

  • "The early connections between students and nature can provide for a lifelong appreciation, understanding, and preservation of the natural world." - Eli Baird, Business/CS Teacher

    "The value of being able to take learning out of the traditional classroom and into the environment where it naturally occurs is immeasurable." - Damon Duncan, Grade 6 Teacher

    "Having an outdoor space for students will not only be a fresh change of scenery for the students, but it will help support our Earth Science curriculum.  The students can have the freedom to explore the concepts that we are teaching, such as rocks, soil, weathering, and erosion." - Eric Farmer, Grade 6 Teacher 

    "THEORIETICALLY appreciating/ studying the environment takes a back seat to ACTUALLY appreciating/ studying it!" - Dave Harlan, Grade 6 Teacher

    "The creation of the Eden Hall Outdoor Learning Center will bring dimensions of wellness, sustainability, and authenticity to our learning experiences. We envision our students learning and thinking, both independently and collaboratively, while getting sunlight and fresh air, and directly observing, interacting with, and leveraging their environment to enrich the learning experiences offered at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School in a creative, exciting, and innovative way." - Dr. Kristen Justus, PRSD Asst. Superintendent of Elementary Education & Curriculum

    "The benefits for providing an outdoor learning environment for students and staff are many.  Connecting with the outdoors is a practical way for students to reduce their stress and a change in learning environments can keep learners engaged.  The outdoor learning center will provide a location for the classroom to extend into the real world with lessons in science and math easily connected to tangible items in the outdoor area. This center can also provide a space for students to experiment or create in an area that is easily cleaned and ready for the next group.  There are so many reasons to be excited about this opportunity at Eden Hall Upper Elementary." - Jennifer Miller, EHUE Guidance Counselor

    "Allowing the students a chance to learn in an outdoor space that is conducive to learning for multiple disciplines not only naturally stimulates a mindful environment for learning, but it also allows for new inspiration and movement that is not always available in the physical, brick-and-mortar classroom." - Katelynn Tronetti, Art Teacher