Environment

Bringing Students Outside

A collaborative is providing teachers with outdoor experiences and lesson plans through A Park for Every Child.

Map of North Carolina state parks.

A collaborative is providing teachers with outdoor experiences and lesson plans through A Park for Every Child.

An environmental studies major at Carolina, Shelby Brown ’21 worked for UNC Institute for the Environment through an APPLES Service-Learning internship in the summer of 2019.

Throughout her internship, she primarily worked on the “A Park for Every Child” project. A Park for Every Child is a North Carolina State Parks Teacher Collaborative, a partnership between UNC Institute for the Environment and North Carolina State Parks. This collaborative provides year-long professional development experience for 4th- and 5th-grade teachers across the state to encourage the use of outdoor learning in education.

Outdoor learning in education has proven to significantly benefit students, yielding results such as improved test scores, reduced anxiety and depression, improved attention spans and enhanced creativity. Providing teachers with outdoor experiences and lesson plans through A Park for Every Child helps them see the value and importance of outdoor learning and inspires them to implement it into their lesson plans.

“We are excited to continue working with these dedicated teachers over the course of the 2019-20 school year,” said Brown. “[We] can’t wait to learn how they have been able to incorporate their experiences with us in the summer into their teaching!”

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