Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 26, 2013

Outdoor learning center coming to TWHS

LIZTON — It’s a balmy 75 degrees and sunny with birds chirping and flowers in full bloom. And Tri-West High School students are right in the center of it all in the middle of economics class.

That scene will soon be a reality, as TWHS students in the Service Club have cracked the $10,000 donation barrier from the United Way and will be using the funds to create an outdoor learning center.

Jeff Marshall, a government and economics teacher at TWHS, is the service club leader. The club has been around for about 13 years.

“The service club sponsors thought it was necessary around here to give the kids a chance to get outside on nice fall and spring days,” he said. “Classes can go out there if they deem necessary to give students a different environment. We do have a fairly large property. Students will be able to study plants and different aspects of nature.”

The learning center will feature plants mostly for aesthetics. It will be about 20 by 20 feet large, feature seven benches, a podium for the teacher taking their class out, and be landscaped to allow students to walk right through it.

Lauren Lewis, a senior and co-president of the service club, explained the benefits of such a facility to students.

“I think it’s wonderful, because I don’t want to be stuck inside all day when it’s nice out,” she said. “We don’t care what we do out there, just be outside. We have English teachers that let us go outside and read. We just love being outside.

“We just didn’t really have a place for the kids to go out and sit down and learn outside. Eventually, we’ll have trails so it can become kind of a nature walk so they don’t have to just sit. Our vice president will be there and she’s planning on going further with it with the trails and more flowers and is working with one of the science teachers to get the right kind of plans laid.”

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