Outdoor Classroom Goes Beyond Lesson Plans


Students at Wheeling Middle School are stepping out of the classroom and into the garden thanks to a grant from West Liberty University.

“It just gives them a different place so that they are not sitting in a classroom everyday doing the same old thing. They can do the same thing out here, but it’s different to them,” said Rich McCardle, Principal of Wheeling Middle School.

The outdoor classroom is the first of its kind in Ohio County. Every student gets a chance in the garden each day, learning everything from Science to Art outside, something students say is helping them keep their focus.

“Yeah , I think we all love it, and plus Ms. Mckay told our class that the green stuff like outdoors it helps your brain learn better when you’re learning outside,” said Amari Poole, who is an 8th grader at Wheeling Middle School.

Teachers are proud to go beyond typical lesson plans, providing kids in the city skills to learn gardening, healthy eating and an appreciation for the outdoors.

“We’re asking them to take pride in the building, to take pride in the garden, protect it, and watch it grow and harvest it’s crops and enjoy it in school and also at home,” said Art Teacher Sherry Bender.

“It’s just fun to garden, and help our teachers out,” Poole said.

Students are planning on harvesting the produce they’ve grown and giving it away to the community.

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