Photo courtesy of Lee Academy Lee Academy student Sierra Lank works on a place-based history project in the new outdoor classroom.

LEE — Lee Academy’s mission of Opening Doors to the World is advanced by the award of a $5,000 grant from the Friends of Acadia in support of the school’s new outdoor classrooms. 

Two of these innovative outdoor classroom pavilions are being built on campus, and the first one  has just been completed. The goal of this initiative is to promote outdoor learning across the  curriculum and improve accessibility to outdoor spaces so that all students and staff may gain the  benefits of spending more time outside. 

The benefits of bringing the classroom outdoors include:  

• improved physical and mental wellbeing 

• greater focus in class 

• finding connections to our community through place-based learning 

• increased social distancing and ventilation lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 

History classes at Lee Academy are already using these spaces to work on a place-based learning  project regarding local Native American culture. The natural resource management class has  been working on clearing trails and creating a natural outdoor learning space next to the  pavilion. In the spring they will be constructing raised garden beds in the area.