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Librarian seeks to connect students with nature

Gray
Gray

Dr. Jenny Gray, a library media specialist at Parkway’s Sorrento Springs Elementary has received an $850 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative to transform the area outside the library window into an outdoor reading courtyard.

The courtyard will feature comfortable outdoor seating, steppingstones created by students and a sunshade. The innovative classroom project was one of 52 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding out of about 400 nominations received statewide.

Gray learned she was selected for the grant when she was surprised with a check presentation at her school.

Because students have spent so much time trapped indoors due to COVID-19, Gray said she believes it’s important for them to be outside and reconnect with nature. 

The outdoor reading courtyard will provide a space where students can work collaboratively on projects or just calm themselves, read and enjoy nature. Her hope is that the space will foster a love of nature in her students, which in turn will inspire them to care more about the  planet and live life sustainability.

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