The Falmouth Public Schools are opening for hybrid and in-person learning soon and will face many new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Falmouth Outdoor Learning Committee formed in an effort to ease the stress on
teachers and help students by creating outdoor learning spaces.
As of 2021, donations are now being accepted via the Rotary Club of Falmouth, Cape Cod, a registered 501(c)(3) at their website via their DONATE Button. Please make sure you choose “Youth-Outdoor Classroom Fund.” You can also mail the check to alleviate credit card fees to Rotary Club of Falmouth: PO Box 293 Falmouth, MA 02541 and we ask that you add a memo to restrict the funds for the "Outdoor Learning Project".
One way to keep children engaged, enriched, and safe during a pandemic is with ample outdoor learning opportunities. It is well documented that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to remain outside as much as possible when interacting with others, in addition to wearing masks and proper hand-washing. The Falmouth Outdoor Learning Committee formed in an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to our students, teachers, staff and ultimately our entire Falmouth population by creating outdoor learning spaces to each of the seven Falmouth Public Schools. Outdoor learning reduces the burden on indoor classrooms while providing fresh air, hands-on learning opportunities, and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature. We have also begun a partnership with the 300 Committee in an effort to utilize all the amazing conservation land we have in our community.
The Falmouth Outdoor Learning Committee is working hard to bring more outdoor learning
spaces to Falmouth Public Schools, but we can't do it without the community’s help.
• Funding for supplies and large tents; the specific tents we found that can withstand NE weather and have been approved by town are approx $7,000 each. They will last 20+ years, can withstand 120 mph winds, and a 30 lb per square foot snow load.
• Materials like stools, portable white-boards, and hand wipes plus individual supplies for every student ( like balls, bubbles, jump ropes, chalk, hula hoops and more for approximately 3,100 students for outdoor learning and recess)
• Volunteers to help set-up and maintain the spaces
• Curriculum support and framework alignment as we develop the new RESOURCE section of our website to support our teachers with lessons, ideas, suggestions and more for them to utilize for outdoor learning
So far the Committee has raised over $18,000 in donations as well as thousands of dollars worth of donations of supplies including white boards, picnic tables, clipboards, sanitizing wipes, and more. The Falmouth Rotary Club also gave a grant to the Falmouth Public Schools of $3,450 for supplies such as fitness station sets, reusable stencils, cones, carpet dots, field marking spray, and paint that all four elementary schools will divide and share allowing for support of outdoor activities and learning. The Committee has partnered with VIPS, Falmouth’s Volunteers in Public Schools, so it can receive monetary donations through a 501(c)(3). Supporters simply need to choose “Outdoor Classroom Fund” on the VIPS donation page to support the Committee’s efforts.
Volunteer help is a big part of the Committee mission as well. The group has completed over 800 hours of volunteer service at all 7 of the schools.
All saw a great turnout of families and locals with total volunteers capping at 250 with 79 of them being students.
They cleaned outdoor spaces, weeded, mulched, and prepared grounds for outdoor learning. They have also sanded and sealed picnic tables, lined fields and recess zones, setup tree log seating, put together whiteboards, prepared spindle tables for teachers, provided over 600 yoga mats, donations of tree logs came from all over the area, plastic weather proof sit-upons were made by volunteers as far away as Maine, recess supplies and individual outdoor bags were donated, bounce bands, partnerships formed with leading educational companies for product trials specifically for outdoor learning and so much more!
As of 12/31/2020, donations are now being accepted via the Rotary Club of Falmouth, Cape Cod a registered 501(c)(3) at their website via their DONATE Button. Please make sure you choose “Outdoor Classroom Fund.” You can also mail the check to alleviate credit card fees to Rotary Club of Falmouth: PO Box 293 Falmouth, MA 02541 and we ask that you add a memo to restrict the funds for the "Outdoor Learning Project".
Materials can be donated and volunteers can sign up by reaching out to our lead parent, Amy Leonardi.
Thank you to the following sponsors & partners who are making this project possible.