Sangaree Elementary opens Learning Outdoor Lab

MONCKS CORNER, SC – Sangaree Elementary School’s Learning Outdoor Lab (LOL) is officially open! Yesterday the school hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the LOL, complete with a short skit as well as student and parent spectators. The LOL is the result of a $5,000 Lowes Toolbox for Education grant and a $1,000 Bosch Energy, Science & Technology grant.

Christina Barbaro, a second grade teacher at Sangaree Elementary who wrote both grants, said, “I am so thankful for the support of Lowes and Bosch. The LOL would not have been possible without their generosity. I am so excited to be able to bring learning to life, get the students outside to experience nature and integrate nature into our curriculum.”

Barbaro wrote the grants to secure funding to create the school’s Learning Outdoor Lab (LOL). The LOL will provide students with the opportunity to gain hands on experience in a garden to investigate insects, specifically butterflies. The school purchased tools, toolboxes, topsoil and flowers that attract butterflies, such as Milkweed, Lantana, Salvia and Butterfly Bush. The school also purchased stones, fencing and concrete to create a walkway.

Principal of Sangaree Elementary School (SRE), Barbara Webber, said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to take learning outside the classroom in various areas on campus. We now have another location where students can observe and record information about the life cycle of plants and insects as well as create ways to re-purpose and re-use materials in our garden area. As the principal of SRE, I am truly grateful for Mrs. Barbaro’s willingness to seek community support and resources to enrich our students’ learning experiences. She is a perfect example of the “STAR”tastic staff we have at SRE!”

Most of the LOL is crafted from recycled materials. The benches and flower boxes were created using pallets. Other pallets were painted, decorated and hung in the outdoor space. In addition to creating the LOL, Barbaro said the school joined Monarch Joint Venture as a registered location to help save the Monarch Butterfly, an endangered species.

Representatives from Bosch attended the ceremony and were thrilled to see how the LOL turned out. Manager of Business Excellence and Communication at Bosch, Robert Jackson, said, “It was wonderful to see what Mrs. Barbaro was able to accomplish with the Robert Bosch Teacher Grant. She turned a vision into a reality! She was able to demonstrate project-based learning to her students through this Learning Outdoor Lab. This Lab not only benefits her students, but all the students at Sangaree Elementary School. Mrs. Barbaro is a valuable teacher for Berkeley County and she leads by example, proving that one person can make a difference through determination, kindness, and selflessness.”

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