Students from Lone Pine Elementary School surround their new outdoor classroom space. In an effort to battle childhood obesity and depression, a third-grade teacher at the school in Bloomfield Hills proposed the creation of an outdoor classroom. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Bloomfield Hills— Students dedicated an “outdoor classroom” Tuesday at Lone Pine Elementary School, a project that organizers hope will combat obesity, depression and attention disorders by allowing children to spend more time outside.
A group of students who call themselves the Third Grade Green Team researched and developed the new classroom, which was built with supplies and labor donated by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, Designs in Nature and Main’s Landscape Supply.
When students sit on the classroom’s stone seats, on a slight hill, to their left is a lake that is home to swans and geese. In front of the classroom is a marshy area, with fields beyond that.
According to the Bloomfield Hills school district, studies have shown that outdoor classrooms help improve students’ performance in language arts, math, science and social studies, and parents of children with attention deficit disorder have reported fewer symptoms and better focus after the students participate in outdoor activities.
— Shawn D. Lewis