Letter to the Editor: A vote for teaching and learning outdoors

To the Editor:

Now more than ever, it is crucial to provide school children with engaging outdoor learning opportunities. To meet this challenge, the Friends of the
Boston Schoolyards (FOTBS), a volunteer organization since 2018, serves as a clearinghouse for sharing information and resources with parents, teachers, and community members regarding outdoor experiences for Boston public school children. FOTBS, working with a wide range of partner organizations, has developed practical resources that can be used at school, at home—indoors or outdoors—that support and encourage outdoor learning.

Every week, in response to Covid-19, we hear about schools across the country that are teaching students outdoors. Here in Boston, we are well placed to be one of those stories. With over 80 schoolyards redesigned for outdoor learning over the past 25 years and teachers prepared to use them, Boston can provide access to all our students.

As we strive to address important issues of equity, the Friends of the Boston Schoolyards believes that outdoor teaching and learning should a part of the daily routine for all Boston’s children. As schools reopen, these spaces will be especially important, giving children the chance to fully flex their physical and cognitive muscles and enjoy the outdoor resources that exist right in their schools and neighborhoods.

Visit friendsofthebostonschoolyards.org for more information and please help spread the word about these important resources.

Mary Smoyer, President
Board of Friends of the Boston Schoolyards