Maine Focuses on Outdoor Education During Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Maine—Teachers and students in Maine’s largest district have returned to classes this week. Brooke Teller, a science, technology, engineering and math coach here, would normally be spending this time administering new science curricula and coordinating professional development meetings. Instead, her schedule is mostly filled with the delivery of hundreds of tree stumps and sturdy plastic buckets for outdoor classroom space.

Like many other districts in Maine, Portland Public Schools has responded to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by pivoting to a hybrid model: Children in kindergarten through ninth grade will be attending smaller classes twice a week (older high school students are still learning remotely). To allow for social distancing, the district has also created outdoor classrooms at each of its 16 schools. Working with local architects, the district identified suitable outdoor areas and installed tents or other shade structures to accommodate changing weather. Each student will be given

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Panel: New Mexico’s Outdoor Future Tied to Access, Education | New Mexico News

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The key to boosting the economics of outdoor recreation in New Mexico will require educational initiatives for school children as well as improved access and a new workforce, state officials said.

State Forester Laura McCarthy, Outdoor Recreation Division Director Axie Navas and others touted the state’s potential for growing its outdoor industry during an online panel discussion Thursday. They said efforts are underway to develop what they called a cradle-to-career outdoor education plan.

McCarthy said in developing her agency’s plan for the next decade, she realized that for every strategy that was proposed, more workers were going to be needed. She said the hope is that officials can connect residents not just with outdoor experiences they might pursue with their friends and family but with careers.

“Because the need for restoration of the places that we recreate in is so

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