Students at École St-Thomas, in Hudson, will be able to enjoy a brand new facility in their schoolyard. An outdoor pavilion has been built to allow young people to settle there during recess, for a moment of relaxation, or to take a course with their teachers, in a completely different world.

(Photo Saint-Thomas Elementary School)

The initiative for this outdoor class stems from the proactivity of École St-Thomas and its teaching staff. David Théorêt, member of the École St-Thomas School board, is the principal investigator of the project. He had the idea for the outdoor class in 2019, during his participation in the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie with his SMS Equipment-Roxboro Excavation team. It was then that he decided to sponsor the school, in order to raise the necessary funds to carry out this project which had been in the works for several years.

Together with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, through the Schoolyard Beauti­fication Program, the outdoor classroom is now accessible, for teachers and students, since December.

“I already had this type of installation in mind for a few years, but the funding did not allow it to be carried out, says Claude Chainé, principal of École St-Thomas. Worth almost $ 60,000, the outdoor classroom pavilion is sure to be of great benefit to our young people. We cannot help but thank him for this initiative, not to mention all the other members, parents, teachers, and of course our students, without whom this great project would not have been possible.”

The benefits of an outdoor classroom for young people

The project principal investigator indicates that outdoor classrooms bring dynamism to learning, while improving student behavior and cooperation skills. He also mentions that spending time in nature promotes memorization, problem solving and creativity. Time spent in nature has also been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms.

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