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Outdoor classroom opens behind school

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the recently-completed outdoor classroom at Prince Edward County High School on Tuesday.

In her remarks, Physical Education Teacher Janet Green — who spearheaded the project — said the classroom had been an incredible endeavor.

“We did a lot of work on this trail. It was much bigger and much more work than I thought it would be,” Green said. “It has generated so much positive publicity for the schools and exposed students to ideas and activities they have never done before.”

The outdoor classroom includes a ropes course, a trail and a sitting area with benches and a podium for outdoor instruction.

“What I really want this space to be is a place where all the disciplines can come together and interact and you can have a science lesson, you can have a Spanish lesson. They are still going to have hands-on activities,” Green said. “They’re going to be involved in a lot of different things that will bring them out of the classroom and hopefully enrich what their learning is.”

Green said she wanted students to be able to think outside the box and for them to know “more than just the next text or Snapchat.”

“One thing I really like about this project was bringing everybody together,” Green said.

She noted the Prince Edward Public Schools Endowment Foundation, members of the community, Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College came together to accomplish something they could have never done alone.

Green recognized Isaac Drummond, a Fuqua School student, and Dennis Creran for constructing the benches.

She also recognized Longwood University students Zach Poole and Tim Bova for their help in constructing the ropes course.

Prince Edward Division Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson thanked the community for its support.

“I thank all of you as a wonderful community for all of your support, and our children, for decades, will enjoy this space,” Johnson said.

School Board Member Dr. Lawrence Varner carved a portrait of an eagle — the school’s mascot — that had originally been drawn on paper by student Michaela Street. The carving and drawing were on display during the ceremony.