Extraordinary Ribbon Cutting


GLENDALE – Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) preschoolers helped cut the ribbon on a new outdoor classroom at Copper Creek Elementary School. The space has a garden, stage, and benches to promote learning outdoors. Pre-Kindergarten Lead Instructor Kelly Simmons coordinated the project.
Simmons started with a vision and a sketch of an outdoor classroom where teachers and children could gather for discussions, lessons, story time, and dramatic play.
“Children are multi-sensory learners, and the outdoor classroom will allow them to explore and celebrate the surprises found in nature,” said Simmons.
Simmons designed, acquired funding and donations, and oversaw construction of the garden beds. Simmons also planted a Palo Verde tree for her class to study. After adding feeders onto the tree, her class is now able to observe hummingbirds up close.
The children will connect with nature as they experience lessons. These experiences will help children establish respect for living things and the natural world as they develop a sense of place.
“Our outdoor classroom connects the school to the neighborhood and the world at large. While outside in just the last two years, my children have discovered praying mantis, lizards, baby quail, hummingbirds, baby bunnies, many insects, and even watched the life cycle of the lady bug from egg to adult,” said Simmons.
Studies have shown that the benefits of learning outdoors include increased school performance, improved physical, social and mental health, and it’s fun!