The Outdoor Learning Center at Amy Parks-Heath Elementary is complete. The project was launched about two years ago when APHE’s principal, Megan Smith, proposed the idea for an outdoor classroom. Many teachers, including Janice Longino, Shelly Bennett and Renee Clover loved the idea for the center and were passionate about the benefits the structure could offer students.
The Outdoor Learning Center would be a place where learning could come alive as children explored the outdoors and made first-hand observations. The school garden, started by Longino, was a great start, but a covered space with seating, and readily available water would be even more beneficial to the academic development of children at the school.
The Parent Teacher Organization president, Lindsey Spraggins, and the PTO board members quickly got behind the project and began raising funds for the Outdoor Learning Center through an annual fundraiser and silent auction. Board member Michelle Mitchell drafted a business plan and presented it to possible donors, hoping to make the Outdoor Learning Center a reality for the school.
Many individuals have stepped up and gone above and beyond the call of duty to make this project successful. Two APHE dads, Donnie Watts and Michael Satterfield stepped in and provided much needed assistance in the design and construction of the structure. The Outdoor Learning Center Committee and APHE’s PTO have worked diligently, and overcame many obstacles to make the spacious Outdoor Learning Center come to fruition.