Go Outside!

The Greening of Atlanta's Schools

by Helen Newling Lawson
Published in the January 2017 edition of Atlanta Parent

Teachers and Families See Many Benefits as Kids Go Outdoors to Learn

In Decatur, high schoolers tend to their herd of miniature goats. In Gainesville, preschoolers pump water to irrigate their garden. In Roswell, third graders build forts from sticks. And in Marietta, kids can identify birds in the woods without ever having studied a field guide. They’re all students in the growing number of Atlanta-area schools where kids go outside to learn. Elachee Nature Academy's accredited nature-based Preschool and K-1st Grade programs get students outside for more than 50 percent of their instructional day.

Confidence Learned in the Woods

Melissa Reid, Director of Schools for Elachee Nature Academy believes starting early is key in building a connection to nature: “Between the ages of 3 and 5, children begin to develop fears of the unknown. If we get them out in the woods before these fears develop, children will cherish the outdoor world around them.”