The fourth-graders line up for their wooden medallion nametags and their backpacks, which hold their , a magnifying glass and a pencil.
A parent-chaperone and five teachers from the Broadmoor school lead color-coordinated groups outside. They’re in the middle of the woods, far from Broadmoor, but they agree that sitting in the dirt is way better than sitting in class.
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To keep the birds in her backyard, she stopped spraying pesticides and removed standing water where mosquitoes bred.
All the lessons of the day — munch lines, speck trails, “all living things on the Earth are connected” — boiled down into an environmental message so effective one could almost see the lightbulbs blinking above the fourth-graders’ heads.
That year, TREE offered the program 13 times with 474 students from seven schools as well as an after-school program from two other schools.
All but one were public schools from Orleans or St.With TREE, Brown wanted to open Sunship Earth to fifth-graders in other public schools and expand programming to include spinoffs for fourth- and seventh-graders (Earthkeepers and Sunship III, respectively).TREE teaches its programs at Jean Lafitte in Barataria and at the TREE Outdoor Classroom near Covington.“We wanted kids to have amazing experiences,” she says.“In the city, vacant lots are not enticing places for any of our kids, so being out in nature and having natural woods —one kid said, ‘I got two trees in my yard, I thought that was the woods! The first schooling in the outdoor classroom begins with a song: “All living things on the Earth are connected.” Paulownia and Slider explain, using a few props and balls of clay, how sun, soil, water and air compose the natural world.“All of this stuff could be taught in the classroom, but outdoors, it sticks with them,” says Patrick Norman (“Slider”).