OMS Receives Bass Pro Grants for Outdoor Classroom, Activities
Learning doesn’t have to happen in a classroom. Sometimes, the best way to learn is in the great outdoors with hands-on activities. That’s why Ozark Middle School is thankful to receive two grants from Bass Pro Shops totaling more than $3,000.
“We’re thankful to Bass Pro for supporting our Outdoor Pursuits class and our outdoor classroom,” OMS Principal Eric Russell said. “Students are now going to be able to learn and thrive in outdoor settings.”
The Outdoor Pursuits class introduces basic first aid and survival skills. Students learn firearm safety, disaster awareness and orienteering. They also engage in outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking. Bass Pro donated about $1,300 worth of equipment, including kayaks, a Dutch oven, and outdoor games like ladderball, to the class.
The $2050 Bass Pro grant for the outdoor classrooms allowed the purchase of lumber to construct 27 new benches, as well as other equipment such as wheelbarrows.
“This grant will allow students to have a more workable space in the outdoor classroom area; providing seating and other essentials for teachers to use the classroom,” Russell said. “The functionality of the space will improve and be more user friendly for our teachers. Overall, the outdoor classroom will create a fun learning environment for students and staff to enjoy.”
Students in the OMS Science Club are already getting hands-on experience, as they are building the new benches and spreading mulch for the outdoor classrooms.
OMS Science Teacher Matt McPheeters applied for the grant in an effort to keep the outdoor space usable for teachers and students. He said science classes use it for activities and nature units while ELA classes use it for a tranquil location for writing prompts and cozy places to read a book.
“We go out there quite a bit to look at ecosystems and invasive species,” McPHeeters said. “It gives us real-life examples of things that we talk about in class.”