mission: Outdoor education Program

Hollin Meadows Elementary School (HMES) is a Title 1 school, with 57% of the students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. While the economic, cultural and racial integration of the HMES community is beneficial to all of its students, there is always a need to further close the achievement gap.

Research demonstrates that regular access to the outdoors, in particular green spaces, helps to improve concentration, impulse control and hyperactivity; and to reduce the mental and emotional fatigue that dampens school performance in all children.

In the spirit of the motto displayed in the HMES lobby, Excellence Through Equity, the mission of the Outdoor Education Program is to:

  • ensure each student has access to the outdoors on a regular basis;

  • provide teachers with an outdoor space in which they can easily build lessons about science and the natural world;

  • foster independence and creativity through a connection to the natural world;

  • give each student the knowledge and opportunity to be environmental stewards in whatever capacity they are able;

  • connect students more closely to their food source;

  • explore food justice and multiculturalism through shared industry; and

  • reinforce core curriculum through experiential and project-based learning modules.

Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.
— Jimmy Carter