- Los Angeles Unified School District
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves Resolution to Expand Outdoor Learning Opportunities (04-14-2021)
Contact: Ally Salvaria, Communications Director
Email: Ally.Salvaria@LAUSD.net Phone: (818) 726-6151
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves
Resolution to Expand Outdoor Learning Opportunities
LOS ANGELES (April 14, 2021) – The L.A. Unified Board of Education voted today to unanimously approve Board Member Nick Melvoin’s resolution to expand access to outdoor learning opportunities for District students. The resolution calls for more funding and resources to expand existing outdoor education programs as well as explore new and innovative opportunities, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The benefits of outdoor education have always existed, but after a year of screen time and stay at home orders, there is no better moment for us to invest in bringing the classroom outside for our kids,” Board Member Melvoin said. “We can support the academic, social-emotional, and physical well-being of our students while minimizing the risks of the virus and enjoying Los Angeles’s sunny weather. To me, it’s a no-brainer.”
L.A. Unified currently runs two outdoor education programs: Camp Skyhook at Clear Creek in the Angeles National Forest, which offers an immersive experience to foster kids’ love of nature, and Point Fermin in San Pedro, where kids can explore the underwater world of oceanography. But without the proper funding and resources, these programs can only serve a small fraction of our student population.
“With so many communities lacking adequate access to outdoor green space, it’s exciting to be able to open new outdoor opportunities for our students, “Board President Kelly Gonez, a co-sponsor said. “I’m also glad we will be looking at how to expand our offerings in an equitable way to ensure our high needs communities have access.”
“As our students slowly return to campus, we are committed to providing the safest learning opportunities for everyone,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, a co-sponsor, said. “We also know that in order for our students to have an enriching experience they need hands-on outdoor experiences during their school day. I support our ongoing advocacy efforts to expand more outdoor learning opportunities district-wide because it is a critical component to a creative and innovative curriculum that will enrich and improve the wellbeing of our young learners.”
“We want all of our students to experience outdoor learning,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg, a co-sponsor said, said. “Connecting with gardens and nature gives them a real-life appreciation and curiosity, and hopefully will inspire some to become scientists! “
“Point Fermin, Clear Creek, and all the opportunities for outdoor education in Los Angeles Unified are a foundational part of readiness for college, career and life and should not be withheld from any child because of long waiting lists, needed repairs, or lack of funding,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin, a co-sponsor, said. “More students will be able to experience an overnight camp, sing campfire songs, navigate Tall Ships and ropes courses, and experience the healing and inspirational powers of nature because of the direction we have given today.”
Nick Melvoin is proud to serve the dynamic communities of District 4 on the LA Unified Board of Education. Nick’s election to the Board in May of 2017 follows a career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren. He believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed. Board District 4 stretches westward from Hollywood to the ocean, and from Westchester up to the Northwest San Fernando Valley.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Ally Salvaria at 818-726-6151 or email at Ally.Salvaria@LAUSD.net.