Create an Outdoor Classroom at Your School Through KIB’s GreenKids Program
Did you know the average American child spends 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen? That’s over 2,737 hours (yikes!) a year that kids spend indoors with their eyes are glued to televisions, computers, tablets and smart phones. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful hopes to counter this growing epidemic through our GreenKids Program—a multi-year partnership where KIB will help schools build an outdoor classroom and connect students to nature through environmental education. KIB’s GreenKids Program is NOW accepting applications to become a 2018 GreenKids School. Applications and more information can be found here. Who Is A GreenKid? The purpose of the KIB GreenKids Program is to create the next generation of environmental stewards. If selected, schools will create an after-school GreenKids club. At these club meetings, KIB will lead lessons focused on a variety of environmental topics like: native plants, pollinators, nature appreciation, sustainability and more. Hands-on, experiential learning is a top priority of KIB. GreenKids get to help prep, build, plant, mulch and maintain their Outdoor Classroom as well as go on special field trips and learn from experienced guest speakers.
What is a GreenKids Outdoor Classroom? Allow us to bring nature right to your school! Each GreenKids Outdoor Classroom is comprised of three main components:
• Native Plant Garden
• Fruit Tree Orchard
• Nature Play Area
The GreenKids Outdoor Classrooms are designed by professional landscape architects. KIB uses their own expertise, corporate volunteers and your school’s teachers, students and parents to construct the Outdoor Classroom elements.
Why Should Your School Apply for KIB’s GreenKids Program? If the fact that you get to build your own Outdoor Classroom right on school grounds while learning about the environment wasn’t enough, the undeniable research of the positive link between nature and children can help further convince you to apply. According to The Children & Nature Network, “spending time in nature enhances educational outcomes by improving children’s academic performance, focus, behavior and love of learning.” Learning in a natural environment can boost performance in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Taking students into an Outdoor Classroom can enhance creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. In addition to academics, a child’s connection to nature can also positively influence that child’s health and wellbeing. By having a GreenKids Outdoor Classroom at your school, all students will have easy, safe access to a beautiful greenspace. This accessibility will promote increased physical activity, helping reduce the risk of obesity and attention disorders. Similarly, learning in nature encourages children to improve relationship skills and reduce stress, anger and aggression.
What Next? Go to the GreenKids page and click the blue button to APPLY! Fill out the 2018 GreenKids application and submit it by November 17, 2017. We encourage all administrators, teachers, parents, neighbors and KIB supporters to share the GreenKids application to all interested members of their networks.