School unveils outdoor classroom in time for Earth Day - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

School unveils outdoor classroom in time for Earth Day

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PHOENIX -

A valley pre-school is celebrating Earth Day with the grand opening of their brand new outdoor classroom. The school has been working on the classroom for 2 years.

There are animals, plants, and plenty of ways for kids to get their hands dirty while learning.

Music centers, a pizza garden and of course, who could have an outdoor classroom without worms. It was launched on Earth Day.

"It's the birthday, Earth's birthday," says Sam, a pre-schooler.

Sam hopes to return the favor for all it's given us -- "Food and water and energy."

"We just want them to get messy and learn what it is to touch worms. We have chicks that are here and rabbits," says Sari Topper-Romberg.

The outdoor classroom at Beth El Preschool in Phoenix has several centers that will take children out of the typical four walls of the classroom into nature.

The outdoor classroom has been certified by Nature Explore, a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

"We want them to get back into nature. We feel everyone is so busy with iPads and iPhones and computers, we want people to get out and learn about the environment," says Topper-Romberg.

Two of the three phases are completed. It should be complete in 2014.

The renovation was done by Superscape, a local landscaping company.

The community will benefit from the gardens as well. The school plans to donate food that's grown at the school but not eaten by the students.

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