We are so lucky at our school to have some amazing outside spaces in which to play and learn. We have a dedicated group of parents (both past and present) who know the importance of kids being outside, and how being in nature helps them want to work to preserve that nature for the students that will follow them. Well, and of course, it’s just really fun. 🙂
One of our most-loved spaces is the Outdoor Learning Center, that sits just to the south of our building, out in the front where everyone can see it! Kids have classes out there, read with their friends, play and get dirty, as well as learn about and apply lessons about planting and nature. Well, recently, that OLC had a birthday–its 20th birthday!
Our very own 1st grade teacher-friend Mrs. Marks began work on a celebration (inspired on a 100 degree day this past summer), which included some pretty amazing things. Perhaps the best (well at least to me and my first graders!) was the idea of putting lots of little rock fish in the dry river bed that had been recently added.
It started as every class in our school read the book Only One You by Linda Kranz.
Then, each kiddo chose a rock, designed and then painted their very own fish!
See all that mulch? Kiddos helped lay it!
The pond has been rebuilt and has a really cool turtle fountain!
We all found a rock!
First we drew our designs with permanent marker…
…then got to paint them to make the design last forever!
On the day of the celebration this week, we began the ceremony with every kiddo placing their fish in the river. Before that, we had only seen the riverbed dry and empty. Once we got there to the party, it looked much different!
(Someday I will consistently remember to turn my phone for videos. Sorry!!).
Here’s an even better view of the finished river. Besides being beautiful, it’s so amazing to think of how those fish will be there for future Robinson kiddos to see and enjoy. And for these kiddos to come back to visit with their own kiddos some day in the future!
After the rock-placing, there are many adult speakers who told the story of how the OLC first began, and the original set of parents who came up with the idea were there to wave at us. Even our own Mrs. Frierdich (in the office) was one of those people! Her own grown children were Robinson students when the dream began and she’s still here to enjoy it! Then each grade pledged to take care of a part of the OLC, so that the recent work that has been done to upgrade the space can continue to shine. First grade is in charge of Berm 1 and there will be much weeding, planting and care-taking in our future to share with you.
Lastly, ALL of Robinson committed to care for our space with a pledge written by the 5th grade:
Way to go, Robinson kids and parents, for making the 20th birthday of the OLC super great, and helping us look excitedly to the next 20 years!!