Camden Rockport Elementary School has been awarded a grant from the Maine Environmental Education Association Mini-Grant for Outdoor Learning Program. The grant will fund a program, led by Assistant Principal Katie Bauer, for the development of an outdoor learning area led by students in Grade 4. The grant will be between $600 and $1,500.

Outdoor classrooms provide a break from masks and virtual classes, allowing students to get some fresh air and give their eyes a break from screens. To get students outside, teachers often need extra support to meet pandemic regulations and have successful classes.

Bauer said, “We are so appreciative to receive the MEEA grant as we work to build an outdoor space and program for the students of Camden Rockport Elementary. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for being outdoors for health reasons, but we know that time spent outside is so important for healthy child development.

These funds help us continue our professional development work with Dr. Jennifer Page from the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, as well as build a resource library and a collection of trail maintenance tools. The 4th-grade team is leading the outdoor initiative and a group of 4th graders will help decide what tools and resources to purchase. With the help of Coastal Mountain Land Trust volunteers, student planning, and energy, the wooded area behind our school is being transformed into lovely outdoor spaces for learning and exploration."