Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Today's Clara Barton Schoolyard: A Closer Look and a Common Goal

As a school community, what saddens us most about these pictures, are that they do not represent what's going on inside that building.

Every day we drop our children off at Clara Barton Elementary. The bell sounds, the doors open and the students entering are welcomed by friendly teachers and staff.

Bright, clean hallways guide children to their classrooms. The walls surrounding the kids are covered with projects, artwork and unity words ~ inspire, encourage, strengthen, unite...

Now put yourself in your child's shoes. Morning lessons are over, you're finished lunch and it's time to go outside! Finally! Fresh air! Exercise! Stretching! Exploring! Outdoor Fun!

But when you get outside what do you see? Asphalt. Cracks. Weeds.

(Photo Credit: Deirdre Ryan)

Outdated equipment (you may or may not be allowed to go on)...

Large painted shapes (though good intentioned) fading away and surely a bit confusing...

And on hot, sunny days... barely a place to seek refuge...

Now imagine a schoolyard that's an extension of what's going on inside... 

A schoolyard where that day's reading, writing, math and science lesson come to life outside through exploring, cultivating and sharing!

A schoolyard where the trees casting shadows towards the pebbles and student tended gardens ...are simply enough to excite!

A schoolyard where students (using the equipment provided) will dare to reach new heights by stretching their bodies and consequently their minds!

A schoolyard where students are free to explore and imagine in a safe, nurturing and meaningful environment.

A schoolyard that (like the inside of this building) ...we all can be proud of.

This is our common goal.