An outdoor learning environment is as essential to a child’s development as their classroom or indoor learning environment. We have transformed our Preschool’s outdoor play space into an OLE (Outdoor Learning Environment). The OLE enhances the learning experience of the students at MSPCS. In 2016, the Miami Shores Community Alliance awarded MSPCS a $500 grant to begin what was Phase I of the OLE, our butterfly garden. Since then, we have put together a great team of volunteers who exchange their expertise and enthusiasm and we are already into Phase III o the OLE. Presently, we have 12 people on the OLE Committee and the members include MSPCS teachers, parents, butterfly/nature enthusiasts, and a Boy Scout!
THE HISTORY OF OUR OLE
November 19, 2016 – Present
PHASE I: Butterfly Garden on South Playground
On Saturday, November 19, 2016, the OLE Committee, along with a few volunteers, planted a butterfly garden as part of an Eagle Scout Service Project. The garden has beautified the playground as well created a place for students to witness the wonders of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. The butterfly garden also attracts other insects, which provides students an opportunity to observe the interactions in nature.
Constructing an open-air educational space serves as a focal point for the vigorous development of the whole child. We are grateful and to everyone who has come together to make this OLE vision a reality. Proceeds from our Annual Pumpkin Patch were earmarked to help fund the development of the OLE and the Parent Association has generously chipped in as well!
The next phase was of our OLE was our Plant a Seed of Kindness Mural. Design and painting of the mural were donated by Miki Foged, a parent at our school and local artist. On April 30, 2017 we joined as a school and community to finish the mural and bring our vision of a community mural alive.
On Monday, November 6, 2017 we entered Phase III – our PK3 classes planted two edible gardens!