At La Comadre one of our pet peeves is the word ‘institution’ for school. And yet, that’s exactly what so many schools look like. White walls. Concrete. Asphalt. Fluorescent lighting. It’s a bit sad when school doesn’t feel as welcoming as say, a Starbucks. However, attitudes on what schools should look like are starting to change. We saw a really interesting Opinion article via EdSource advocating for schools as the new green spaces:
“Public schools are community hubs. In fact, 1 in 5 Californians visit public schools each year, whether to attend school, to pick up or drop off a child, or to engage with other services. Green schoolyards transform asphalt-covered spaces into green spaces. This is something I absolutely love about my son’s public school, they have two very large grass playgrounds with the most beautiful view of the entire San Gabriel Valley.
Green schoolyards fight climate change by reducing heat islands in urban areas. They aid health by providing more outside space for young people. And above all, they improve education with greater access to nature. Indeed, access to green space and time spent in nature are associated with a number of positive outcomes: reduced stress, less depression and anxiety, improved concentration, lower obesity rates, and reduced blood pressure.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has more than 1,000 school sites and covers an area totaling 710 square miles. Approximately 4.8 million people live within these boundaries. LAUSD has 44 ‘communities of schools,’ which are groups of schools centered around a neighborhood working to support students, schools, and families in the community. If these communities of schools, with the help of our local nonprofits, were transformed into campuses with green schoolyards, just imagine the numerous benefits our students, teachers, staff, and community would have.”
We think this sounds like a fantastic idea. What would you like to see your child’s school transformed into? How much green space access do they currently have?
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