Learning Center Awarded New Outdoor Classroom From Green Mountain Energy Sun Club
MEADVILLE, Pa., June 1, 2022 /3BL Media/ - The Learning Center K-8 School is thrilled to be awarded a $108,600 sustainability grant from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club for the design and construction of a timber-framed outdoor classroom on school grounds. Site specific preparation and student programming started in fall 2021, and work on this project will continue through the next year with the raising and dedication of the classroom planned for spring 2023.
Distinctively designed to fit harmoniously into the wooded ravine adjacent to the school building, this one-of-kind classroom will be designed and built by David Yasenchack, a craftsman in the art of timber framing using sustainably harvested timber from the school site and surrounding area. The project will soon complete its drainage and foundation work and several of the logs to be used in the structure are now onsite. The classroom will be seamlessly connected to nature not only by the materials it’s made of but through its aesthetic of environmentally friendly design.
“Sun Club is honored to be part of this innovative project that will promote sustainability and educate children about how to integrate environmentally conscious, accessible, and practical elements into our everyday lives,” said Mark Parsons, Green Mountain Energy vice president. “We are thrilled to be able to help the Learning Center foster a public learning space for further expansion of nature-based learning initiatives.
Since 2002, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has been empowering local communities by donating nearly $11.7 million to 143 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. Sun Club supports projects promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, education and awareness, clean transportation, and sustainable agriculture.
“The project is an expansion of the work that has been done to make The Learning Center a model of sustainability education,” said Scott Yeager, Learning Center K-8 School co-founder. “Integral to our educational program is developing a close relationship to the outdoors by emulating ‘learning by doing’. This structure, thanks to Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, will allow us to spend more time outdoors and develop an even closer relationship to the natural world.”
Educational programming, designed and facilitated in partnership with the Foundation for Sustainable Forests will complement every step of the project. This includes students learning about local forests in Western Pennsylvania to sustainable forestry to witnessing the transformation of a living tree to a beam in a classroom. Students will work together to contribute to the project in a sustainable manner while practicing the traditional process of hand-crafting pegs and witnessing the crafts of a traditional timber-framer using low impact construction methods.
Pennsylvania is one of 19 states implementing an Environmental Literacy Plan, with implementation strategies centered on building academic knowledge within the classroom. At the Learning Center, education is focused on students ‘learning by doing’ to expose students to real world environment problems and challenging them to use their agency to find potential solutions.
About The Learning Center K8 School
The mission of the Learning Center K8 School is to create an intergenerational learning community which fosters natural curiosity, the individuality of the child, high academic achievement, and lifelong learners while engaging students in an exploration of the creative process to help individuals find their expressive voice. Founded in 2011, the Learning Center K8 School now services over 80 students. To learn more about our school and our unique approach to education, please visit our website at www.learningcenterk8.org.
About Green Mountain Energy Sun Club
Green Mountain Energy is changing the way power is made and advancing sustainable communities through the work of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Since its founding in 2002, Sun Club® has donated more than $11 million to 143 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. Sun Club collaborates with nonprofit organizations on projects that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship. To learn more about Green Mountain Energy and Sun Club or to apply for a Sun Club grant, visit greenmountain.com/sunclub.
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