At Valley of the Sun (VSECA.org), we connect classrooms and school communities with the power of outdoor learning. Transforming hardscape playgrounds into natural learning spaces provides teachers with the right environment to make learning socially charged and fun! Research in child development and learning is clear. Children learn deeply when physically and emotionally engaged. We pay attention when our senses are heightened.
FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND provides outdoor libraries, unique gardens, music centers, unusual pathways and small group centers which support foundational literacy and scientific inquiry. FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND is more than just changing the outdoor environment. The focus of the initiative is professional learning. In this, we are supporting teachers in the transformation of practice by bringing traditional classroom activities outdoors and then bringing natural, found materials (rocks, leaves, flowers, insects) back into the indoor classroom. All classrooms receive digital microscopes, allowing young learners to see small worlds up close. We are getting rid of worksheets and engaging children in real hands-on, full body learning and development. Making the learning real, meaningful and enjoyable.
2019-2020 PROJECT: The 2019-2020 school year focus is on Sunrise Elementary in Phoenix, a Title 1 school within the Deer Valley School District. Three Head Start preschool classrooms with be affected by improvements to the playground. An outdoor library, water feature in the sandbox and Mariposa garden have been installed in collaboration with Deer Valley United School District, school families and local landscapers. YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL FUND AN OUTDOOR MUSIC CENTER.
All of the Head Start students qualify for Federal Free orReduced Price Lunch (RPL), meeting Federal poverty guidelines for income eligibility of 100% or below the poverty line.