From the Executive Director: Time Out(side): Schoolyards Inspire Learning and a Sense of Place
I developed my first real connections with the outdoors long before assuming my present role as the executive director of the Green Schools National Network.  As a child on my aunt and uncle's farm, I was moved by the magic of nature in many ways, but one experience in particular set me on my life's path.  One summer afternoon, on the roof of an old barn I had an epiphany of sorts.  In that moment, I felt connected to everything: the past, present, and the future; the Earth and the sky; and the farmland and animals below.  It was an exhilarating, magical moment, and has catapulted me to where I am today.
Naomi Hershiser, Dean of Environmental Learning at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Illinois, shares how each of the components in the school's Sustainable Schoolyard enhances learning and connects students to the natural world.

Iris Galante and Alexis Brownlee, co-presidents of the beekeeping club at Floyd E. Kellam High School, describe how the club's members are using honey bees to raise awareness of their importance in our ecosystems, as well as make a difference in the community.

An innovative public-private partnership co-managed by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands, Space to Grow is transforming Chicago schoolyards into centers of school and community life that support active and healthy lifestyles, outdoor learning, physical education, and engagement with nature.  Read on to learn how one school has benefited from participating in the program. 
Charlene Briggs, adjunct professor at Temple University, shows how outdoor classrooms fit within the Education for Sustainability framework, and introduces a new course for teachers on outdoor classroom design and use.  
Herb Broda, emeritus professor of education at Ashland University, makes the case for using schoolyards as teaching tools and gives tips and ideas for creating a successful outdoor classroom.
Sharon Danks, co-founder of the International School Grounds Alliance and CEO of Green Schoolyards America, shares how you can celebrate International School Grounds Month and Living Schoolyard Month this May. 
Carolyn Kolstad, schoolyard habitat program coordinator at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, reveals how her recent Green Schools Conference and Expo experience demonstrated the impact that green schoolyards are having on students, as well as the powerful role of partnerships in making green, healthy, and sustainable schools a reality.
Reprinted with permission from the Children & Nature Network website. Originally published on
It takes more than benches and butterfly bushes to create a well-used outdoor classroom.  Here's how one school is succeeding through creative ideas that give teachers the training, tools, and confidence to take learning outdoors.  Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine and originally authored by Karan Wood. 
GSNN Educator's Toolbox: Events, Professional Development, and Grants for May 

The latest news on events, resources, and grants for May.
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