Prospect Heights school dedicates 'gift' of outdoor learning space

  • Dedication was held Thursday for a new outdoor learning space at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights. Swings, gardens, a classroom area and shade structures were installed.

      Dedication was held Thursday for a new outdoor learning space at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights. Swings, gardens, a classroom area and shade structures were installed. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 Superintendent Don Angelaccio, right, gives a tour of the new outdoor learning courtyard at MacArthur Middle School Thursday.

      Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 Superintendent Don Angelaccio, right, gives a tour of the new outdoor learning courtyard at MacArthur Middle School Thursday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • MacArthur Middle School students Maya Petryniec, left, and Lea Dreyer were part of Thursday's dedication ceremony of a new outdoor learning space at the Prospect Heights school.

      MacArthur Middle School students Maya Petryniec, left, and Lea Dreyer were part of Thursday's dedication ceremony of a new outdoor learning space at the Prospect Heights school. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • A new outdoor classroom space was dedicated Thursday at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights. From left are representatives of Lurvey Home & Garden, Scott Goczkowski, Jason Castaneda, Beth Wolf and Jeffrey Stimson. Lurvey awarded a $1,000 Earth Day grant to help fund the courtyard work.

      A new outdoor classroom space was dedicated Thursday at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights. From left are representatives of Lurvey Home & Garden, Scott Goczkowski, Jason Castaneda, Beth Wolf and Jeffrey Stimson. Lurvey awarded a $1,000 Earth Day grant to help fund the courtyard work. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/16/2022 6:20 AM

A new outdoor learning space at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights already has been put to the test by students.

On Thursday, the courtyard was officially dedicated during a ceremony attended by school leaders, public officials, vendors, teachers and students.

 

Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 Superintendent Don Angelaccio said the project has been in the works for several years and there are lot of people to thank for the "gift."

Funding for the space came in part from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program, which was part of the 2020 federal coronavirus relief package.

"We looked at some of the safety and mitigation things, the cleaning, ventilation systems. We used money for that. We had some technology upgrades" Angelaccio said. "And then we used a good bulk of our money to transform some of our outdoor spaces into places that kids and teachers would want to come to learn."

The upgrades at MacArthur included adding an outdoor space near the cafeteria entrance and transforming an existing courtyard into the outdoor classroom with multimedia capabilities, a sensory path and seating.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Other schools in District 23 received indoor and outdoor improvements as well.

Amy McPartlin, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, said District 23 also received a grant from a Des Plaines company that helped with the student-centered outdoor space.

"The district applied for and was awarded a $1,000 Earth Day grant from our friends at Lurvey Home and Garden. Our Structured Adapted Individualized Learning program here at MacArthur Middle School has helped to design our sensory path, butterfly garden and garden boxes that have been installed over the summer," McPartlin said.

"Coupled with outdoor classroom area, relaxing swings and butterfly garden, we're thrilled to literally breathe new wonderful life into this central courtyard."

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.