Mother Nature Blesses Outdoor Classroom Opening
November 18, 2016
by Len Lathrop
As November weather can never truly be predicted, Friday’s official opening of the two outdoor classrooms at Pelham Elementary School was smiled upon with a warm and sunshiny day. Community members gathered in the outdoor classroom.
PTA President Danielle Pilato greeted everyone and spoke about the history of these classrooms. She explained that this outdoor classroom design and vision was that of two very special individuals, former Pelham Elementary PTA President Kristen Rodrigue and the group’s former Treasurer Kim Hunt. Pilato reported that “they researched this space, its design and the ideas that began our October classroom’s inception.”
Pilato explained that the PTA was fortunate to have this beautiful space right here on the grounds of Pelham Elementary School, but the area needed a bit of clearing and cleaning up to make it what Kristen and Kim had envisioned. Chris Beaudry of Pro-Turf Landscaping graciously and generously donated his time and services to prepare this space and ensure it was safe and level for the classroom set.
In the fall of 2014, Deb Leuteritz, of Patriot Foundry and Casting, designed and created the benches for the space. These benches where sponsored by area businesses: Design Mentor, Enterprise Bank, Harris’ Pelham Inn, KLN Construction Co., Inc., Lehane Chiropractor, NexGen Comics, NH Flag Football League, Pelham Library Trustees, Pelham Parks and Recreation, Pelham Police Relief Association, Pelham Republican Town Committee, PES Council, PES PTA Board, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Pelham Community Spirit, Pelham School Age Child Care, the Pelham ACES (Awareness for Community and Education Support), and A2 Gym and Cheer, as well as Hal Lynde, Charlene Takesian and the Andrews, Barr, Collins, Larson, Robichaux, Ryan, Salvati and Vincent families.
The vision was expanded in the spring of 2015 when Joshua Thompson began his Eagle Scout project and developed podiums and chalkboards for teachers to use while teaching in the space. As he raised the $400 needed for materials, fellow Scouts from Troop 610 helped with more than 100 hours of work to complete the outdoor classrooms.
President Pilato closed with a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright. “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”