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Today’s world has never posed a larger obstacle to our education system than right now amid the current COVID-19 global pandemic. It’s got school districts and boards scrambling for a solution, with lots of trial and error taking place. Many schools have resorted to virtual online classrooms - but with parents fumbling to keep their kids engaged and supervised, they’ve been a reported disaster. Child development experts also have expressed that this type of prolonged screen exposure isn’t healthy. Some families have turned to private home schooling but this excludes lower income families from educational opportunities every child deserves.
Our kids need the face-to-face interpersonal connection in order to learn effectively, but the major concern is putting students and educational staff at risk. If virtual classrooms aren’t a viable option, and indoor teaching poses a 20% higher risk for infection, then what can be done? One effective solution has been brought to the table - outdoor classrooms.
It’s no surprise that kids love the outdoors, and that being outside has a myriad of positive effects on child development. Tie these benefits in with education, and the results double down on success. How many times as a kid did your class beg the teacher to have class outside during those sunny days?
Studies done on outdoor education have shown overwhelmingly positive results. Just a few include things higher standardized test scores, improved attitude towards learning and overall better in-school performance and behavior. The increase in performance can be attributed to the hands-on experience of being able to learn outdoors, with things like less distractions and decreased stress levels.
Other health benefits are increases in students’ physical, mental and emotional well-being. People, moreso children, become quickly immersed in their surroundings and more or less behave based on what their senses pick up. Being outside is calming, therapeutic and freeing - when kids apply themselves in these settings, their chances of success and focus are much greater.
Outdoor learning, much like our yearly summer camps, has also reported increased intellectual, behavioral and emotional development. It helps kids hone in on areas like problem solving skills, creativity and independence. It also allows them to work on things like empathy towards others, self-discipline and confidence.
Now that we’ve scratched the surface of the positive effects that outdoor learning has on children, you may be asking, how do we make this feasible? Sitting on grass or concrete gets uncomfortable after a while, and nobody wants to huddle on clustered picnic tables and benches.
For over three decades, Crazy Creek has been a profound staple in the outdoor industry and community thanks to the innovative, lightweight design of our Original Chair model. It’s versatility, durability and downright comfort on any terrain makes it the go to for any outdoor or camping adventure. But now, more than ever, it’s usefulness has overlapped into a new realm of outdoors - education.
Greensboro Day School is one of the first to put them to action with a customized logo and design, and is on track for some awesome, outdoor learning this fall semester. See more in their recent tweet: “The chairs help us to easily take our classrooms outside.”
The chairs set up quickly and can be moved into any configuration, adapting any outside space into the most productive, ventilated, socially distant and safe classroom. We’re seeing more and more schools take interest in bulk sales for our original chairs, and we couldn’t be happier to know that we’re helping kids get the best educational experience possible - all while outside.
We hope that schools like Greensboro Day School will help set precedent for others to join in and help create a safer space for kids to effectively learn, under current circumstances. A question folks may have is; “What about the gloomier, rainier seasons?” which is a fair question. Our hope is that with enough schools adopting the trend of using Crazy Creek chairs for outdoor classrooms, that we’ll be able to contribute to a flattened curve in reported COVID-19 cases.
With enough participation and involvement from school districts and boards across the country, we’re confident that we can do our part to help stop the spread of the virus whilst providing kids a wholesome learning experience. When the rainier, colder seasons come around, we hope that we’re at a point where a transition back to what we considered “normal life” is feasible. If Crazy Creek can help play a part in that process whatsoever, we can say with full hearts that we’ve done our job.