New outdoor classroom coming to Lynchburg middle school

Library staff making over courtyard with $5,000 grant

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A new outdoor classroom is coming to Lynchburg in a space that’s going unused.

“You can kind of see it from most of the windows from all the staircases in our school. We would walk by it every day and we were thinking it would be nice if that area was utilized because it has so much potential,” said Emma Cartolaro, the Sandusky Middle School Library secretary.

Cartolaro works with Julia Guca at the Lynchburg school and came up with the courtyard makeover. It’s bigger than a traditional classroom.

“We want it to be something different than these kids have ever really had. We want it to be an actual outdoor classroom that has all the supplies that the teachers could ever need. We’ll have portable projectors, we’ll have portable dry erase boards,” said Cartolaro.

They’re getting nearly $5,000 from the Lynchburg Education Foundation to make it happen. The money is part of about $80,000 the organization is giving out this year.

“Not only does having an experience in an outdoor classroom benefits students and staff socially and emotionally, it also has incredible benefits for cognitive ability which leads to greater academic gains. This was the part that really had us sold on the project. Not only does it benefit students while they’re using this outdoor classroom but it benefits them the whole entire day as well,” said Guca, the library media specialist.

They’re getting input from teachers and students about what they want and students will help with the makeover too.

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You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m. She also leads our monthly Solutionaries Series, where we highlight the creative thinkers and doers working to make the world a better place.

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