Youth Profile in Action

Doesn't being outdoors just give you a breath of freedom?  And isn't that breath best during the summer time, when the weather is as perfect as can be? It isn't just a place filled with birds and butterflies; it's a place where you can reconnect with nature. When we're outdoors, our blossoming minds are just more accessible to experiencing nature. You can play sports, build a tree house, climb a mountain, go for a hike, and even help out with your community garden!

Maybe you could even find an outdoor community event, such as a live concert, flea market, or other similar activity. I like to play sports and enjoy picnics outside. Every summer, my family and I always have an annual family day where we all go fishing at the lake and then have a barbecue. I have always enjoyed the wonders of the great outdoors. This year will be a fantastic summer because the amazing cicadas come out!

Here in Nashville, Tennessee my school started a Garden Club that has exceeded their expectations by providing the Grand Garden with its own water irrigation system and an outdoor classroom (Thanks to the AT&T My Idea Grant)! This summer, the classroom will provide a space for meetings and a view of the Grand Garden behind it. The classroom will enhance environmental education and allow teachers to have more space.

While science labs and gyms have ample room for student movement, teachers of other subjects are often limited in space. English, math and history teachers frequently are relegated to small classrooms due to the assumption that their work is mainly text-based and stationary. Also, the garden and classroom will be open to other community members, not only just Garden Club Members, interested in more hands-on learning and merriment. Students and community members will have the opportunity to experience more nature-fun than they could have thought!

I am extremely excited to have my classroom up and running! Growing up in a small city and not realizing at all how much there is to do outside of the house and away from the computer, I believe that my outdoor classroom will give me the opportunity to regain some childhood memories of outdoor fun. With a greater reliance on technology (videogames, internet, TV, cell phones) for entertainment and socialization, we need to make more opportunities for students and adults alike to spend time outdoors. I know that with today's new technology it makes you feel as if there is no longer a necessity to go outside. My outdoor classroom has intentions to get kids moving and outside.

A well known scientist, Dr.Grant, stated in his research that sunlight fights cancer. Although the weather might sometimes be too hot or too cold, a little bit of sunshine can always help you. While too much sunshine can be unpleasant, getting just the right amount addition produces vitamin D and boosts your mood. Safe outdoor fun promotes healthy living and allows kids to become generally healthier.

Nevertheless I am thankful for all the help provided to make this outdoor classroom possible. I cannot wait for all my plans and events to happen! My best advice to anyone with a big hopes, dreams, and goals, would be to desire teamwork.