Words are not enough – we must take action to ensure that families have equitable access to opportunity. When we speak of “equity” and “equality” we must start at the very beginning by providing quality learning environments for all. If our goal is to lift working families out of poverty, then we must take deliberate action to dismantle systemic barriers. Providing quality early childhood learning environments is critical to this transformation. Yet, Title I school playgrounds are notoriously hardscape with no trees, no gardens, and limited access to the natural world. We can do better.
FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND provides outdoor libraries, unique gardens, music centers, unusual pathways and small group centers which support foundational literacy and scientific inquiry. We are putting research into practice. We are acting upon our values. We are creating beautiful spaces for teachers and children to create learning together – linking Literacy with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
In addition, we work with the teaching teams to utilize the playground as an outdoor classroom. By offering professional development in utilizing the outdoor classroom, we transform teacher’s thinking. With this initiative we are moving traditional activities out into the Arizona sunshine. We are providing developmentally appropriate environments that are reflective of how human beings learn: We all learn deeply when emotionally charged, with high sensory experiences, and in the context of the other learners.
FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND includes four outdoor learning centers: An outdoor library with award winning bilingual Spanish-English books; a sandbox with water feature; Mariposa Garden for butterflies; and Harmony Music garden with outdoor percussion instruments. Find out more details at links below:
2020-2021 Grant Application (closing July 7, 2020)