The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative: A Time-Tested Solution for a 21st Century Challenge

The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative: A Time-Tested Solution for a 21st Century Challenge

The US National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative (NCOLI) was launched in May 2020 to help schools reopen safely and equitably by using outdoor spaces for learning and play. Hundreds of experts in education, design, health, planning, and other related fields came together and volunteered their time in 11 working groups to create resources and support schools and districts across the U.S. in reopening safely and equitably using outdoor spaces.

This presentation will provide an overview of many facets of the initiative with special focus on the comprehensive, free, online outdoor learning library that we created, with practical resources to help schools move outdoors for learning and play. We will also feature our related Emergency Schoolyard Design Volunteers program that includes nearly 300 landscape architects and designers from across the USA who are helping schools to visualize outdoor learning on their campuses.

About

This workshop will be co-led by four leaders of NCOLI:

Karen Cowe, chief executive officer of Ten Strands, director of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, and co-founder of NCOLI;

Sharon Danks, executive director of Green Schoolyards America, co-founder of the International School Grounds Alliance, author of Asphalt to EcoSystems, and co-founder of the NCOLI;

Claire Latané, professor of Landscape Architecture at CalPoly Pomona, Author of Schools that Heal, and founder of the NCOLI’s Emergency Schoolyard Design Volunteers;

Nancy Striniste, founder of EarlySpace, LLC, author of Nature Play at Home, and co-leader of the NCOLI Infrastructure Working Group.

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