Even for the most talented and ambitious educators, keeping students engaged in learning is always a challenge. That’s why Charity Espina, lead teacher at Spring Creek Christian School in Montrose, Colorado stretched the comfort zone of her students with Outdoor Classroom from April 14-30 in celebration of Earth Month. During that period, no lights were used at school.

For two weeks, students learned outside the traditional classroom, attending classes held outside the school walls. Fortunately, the school sits on nearly five acres of land and includes a fire pit for heat during cold Colorado spring weather.

The goals of Outdoor Classroom were to help give students a real life experience of “going green” by observing an energy audit and assisting with the implementation of its suggestions to improve energy efficiency at the school. Students also learned from area experts about alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro. In addition, they created a community garden on the school property.

“My ultimate goal is to give my students a complete understanding of what it means to conserve and preserve our precious resources,” said Ms. Espina. “What better way to do that than give them a real-world, hands-on and out-of-the-box experience that they will hopefully remember for a lifetime!”


Watch a special report on the Outdoor Classroom from a local news agency.


Author Melissa Hanna writes from Montrose, Colorado.