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Spotlight On...

A project that has been several years in the making has come to fruition with the opening this year of Goshen Friends School's exciting new outdoor classroom!
In this age of technology, little ones are spending more time in front of screens. Living the Quaker values of Simplicity and Stewardship, we are committed to getting our students outside where an abundance of fresh air and sensory stimulation help encourage kids to explore and discover new things.
"Being outside is crucial for a child's development," explains Head of School Tr. Mimi Ackers. "Children see things differently when they are out in the fresh air. They find new ways to play, and they connect with friends in ways they don't inside." 
Other benefits of outdoor learning include encouraging learning through the body's senses, improving emotional and physical health and helping to develop empathy by promoting an appreciation for taking care of the natural world we live in.
The classroom is the result of a grant from The Armstrong Foundation and from donations from the school's General Committee and Goshen Parent Community. Activities can change seasonally and according to curriculum.
Stations consist of:
Circle - a gathering space on tree stumps
Kitchen - for wet and dry sensory play
Easel - for outdoor "see-thru" painting
Playhouse - an imagination play house that can be converted for music, theater, dress-up and building activities
Bridge - transitions the children to a walking path with way points to encourage listening, breathing and mindfulness 
If the early results are any indication, our new Outdoor Classroom is a big hit!