Four Columbia Elementary Schools Receive Grant Money

7 years 9 months 3 days ago Thursday, October 14 2010 Oct 14, 2010 Thursday, October 14, 2010 6:42:48 PM CDT October 14, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - West Boulevard, Russell Boulevard, Benton and Midway Heights are all splitting a $43,780 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.  The grant money is to improve outdoor classrooms at the elementary schools.  Most of the money from the grant will be used for educational training sessions and materials for teachers.

On Thursday, fourth grade students at West Boulevard Elementary got to enjoy their outdoor classrooms.  Students searched for monarch butterflies and learned about nearby Hinkson creek.  EPA scientists were on hand to instruct the students.

Fourth grade student Jonathan Campos explains how the day went.  "All of us were trying to catch monarch butterflies, but there weren't any because once it's winter they're all hibernating and go to the south, which is Mexico," Campos said.

West Boulevard Elementary fourth grade teacher Becky Elder values the importance of outside learning.

"We always integrate academics into our outdoor classroom work," Elder said.

She also says the outdoor classrooms are very different from recess.

"It is a classroom, we're not just outside playing but we are doing reading, writing, sometimes math, social studies a lot of the time," Elder said.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri also received a grant from the EPA.  Their grant totaled $15,000 and will be used for environmental education.

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