Howbert Elementary students getting unique outdoor learning experience


Howbert Elementary has launched a new “outdoor classroom” program in partnership with the Catamount Learning Institute, Rock Ledge Ranch and Garden of the Gods. 

Each week, students go outdoors to learn about the ecosystem, sustainability, various science lessons, and much more. 

“We’re very excited this school year that we made a partnership with Catamount Institute,” Howbert Principal Bryan Relich said.

Catamount Learning Institute program coordinator Beth Austin said the goal is to get kids outside into a comprehensive environmental science program–dissecting bugs, inspecting rocks, or checking the weather. 

“They get that hands-on approach where they can actually get an authentic learning experience for our students, which they may not normally get directly in the four walls of a classroom,” Relich said.

Both Howbert Elementary and Catamount Institute are sure this program will have a positive impact on their students.

“We know that this is tried, true and tested, and they have seen significant growth in attendance,” Austin said. 

“The more hands on, the more engaged, the more active the students are with their learning, it is our belief that they will retain this information over the long haul,” Relich said.

The kindergarten to fifth grade students walk to the program, which Relich said makes it cost-efficient. There is no additional cost for students to participate in this program. 

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