Scenic Heights Kindergarten students in Ms. Altenburg's class enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the Peace Garden. They planted tulip bulbs, swept leaves and trimmed plants. Students loved the opportunity to meet Ms. Altenburg's parents—avid gardeners who tend nearly 3,000 tulips on their own property—and listened intently as they explained how bulbs grow, how to plant them and when to expect the bulbs to sprout this spring.
"I'm working on getting the kids out every week, what we call "Wilderness Wednesday," said Ms. Altenburg. "We bring them outside for about 45 minutes to enjoy our Outdoor Learning Center or the Peace Garden... anything to help them grow accustomed to being out in nature. These efforts align with our Kindergarten science standards that include learning about the seasons, planting, growing, and understanding living and non-living things."
"When I talked to my students prior to starting this program, some told me that they did not like going outside... others said they weren't going outside as much as they would like. At our October parent-teacher conferences, parents mentioned how much the children love these experiences. I believe these activities will increase their love of nature and being outside and encourage them to put aside those screens."