School sets up space for students to learn without masks

Posted at 7:15 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 07:21:36-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- What is it like wearing a mask at school all day?

"It's a little hard, but we can push through it," Battlefield Elementary School 2nd grader Taylor Friedel said.

Taylor Friedel.JPG

She and her classmates are getting a breakthrough.

"We knew that our students were going to be wearing their masks the majority of the day to social distance and be safe," principal Jackie McCaleb said. “We decided to provide outdoor learning space for our students to come out."

It is all thanks to the Battlefield Park Elementary School PTA. They secured hundreds of dollars in donations for this outdoor space.

"When Ms. McCaleb presented what her plan was for the outside learning space it really struck a nerve with both of us," PTA Vice President Kaitlin Atkinson said. "We were like, we have to make this happen for our students."

"Movement and fresh air can also stimulate our brains," Ms. McCaleb added.

Bringing them outdoors, letting them breathe the fresh air, connecting them with nature and their lessons, brings it all together.

"We were apprehensive about the kids wearing masks all day," PTA member Emily Hulette said. “This was a way for them to get outside and eat their lunch. And see their teachers without masks on, which was amazing!”

Kaitlin Atkinson and Emily Hulette.JPG
Kaitlin Atkinson and Emily Hulette

"Our PTA here at Battlefield has been so supportive of everything we've ever asked them," Ms. McCaleb said. “And it's always a focus of how this is going to benefit our students."

Taylor will tell you she does not know much about the educational benefits of a little fresh air, but she can tell you it's her favorite part of the day.

"I like to talk to my friends out here and we normally get to read books out here sometimes,” Taylor said. “And I like having a little mask break. And it's just pretty and really peaceful out here."

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