Outdoor classroom debuts at Perry Hill School

On Monday, May 14 , Perry Hill School in Shelton celebrated the Grand Opening and Ribbon
Cutting Ceremony for their Outdoor Classroom.

Five years ago, a committee came together led by the vision of Deb Tucker, special education
teacher at Perry Hill School, to create an outdoor space where students could experience
learning outdoors with their peers. Little did the committee know the adventure they would be
on for the next several years. The courtyard where the beautiful classroom now exists was
overgrown with various vegetation, but it was a task that the committee, staff, students and
community members were certainly up to. With the help of local businesses like Target and
Home Depot, the students and staff have tackled and transformed the space into a unique
learning experience that will allow for both academic classes to take place in the classroom
space as well various gardening activities in the raised bed areas.

The ceremony was led by Tucker and Melissa Fenstermaker, grade 5 teacher and committee
member. It was a wonderful turnout with current and past students and parents showing up to
see the final outcome.

The classroom is now open to all classes at Perry Hill School to use
daily for lessons and gardening. The raised beds will feature pumpkins and watermelons in the
fall, but during the ceremony, many attendees had the chance to plant flowers in designated
flower beds in honor of the “Michaela’s Garden” project. The event also featured garden grown
salsa and chips and a decorate your own "kind" rock to add to the garden.
A plaque will adorn the entrance to the new space which says everything the classroom has
meant and is meant to be:
“Dedicated to the growth of young minds through the beauty of nature. Made possible by
those who seek to prove that with a little love, care and determination, miracles exist.”