| (May 10, 2011) -
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined Superintendent Carol Johnson and Betsy Nichols of the Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative in opening a new schoolyard at the Mather Elementary School, the nation’s first public elementary school. The Mather’s ribbon cutting is one of six scheduled for this spring on Boston Public School schoolyards. The Perry, Mozart, Condon, Russell and Mendell Schools are also opening new schoolyards or outdoor classrooms this spring.
According to Mayor Menino, “Our children need and deserve exciting places in which to play as well as hands-on opportunities to supplement the academics in their indoor classrooms. Today we celebrate the hard work of a strong school community and neighborhood coming together toward this goal.“
All six projects were created through the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools and The Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative. Since 1995, the Boston Schoolyard Initiative has been revitalizing Boston’s Schoolyards, reaching 78 schoolyards and tens of thousands of Boston children.
“We are grateful to Mayor Menino and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative for these tremendous investments in the schoolyards of our city,” said Dr. Johnson. “Because of this initiative, BPS schools have safe, colorful, interactive spaces for recreation and education in the fresh air.”
Full schoolyards at the Mather, Perry and Mozart include new playgrounds and an outdoor classroom designed for teaching and learning. The Condon, Mendell and Russell Schools each received outdoor classrooms, which include a sample woodland, urban meadow and teaching tools like thermometers and windvanes.
A total of 2,280 Boston Public School students and 186 teachers benefit from the renovations. The Boston Schoolyard Initiative’s education team has been training teachers at these schools throughout the year to effectively use their outdoor classrooms in coordination with the BPS science and writing curriculum.