Wildwood Public Schools, Wildwood
Learning in a Classroom by the Sea
Grantee: Josepha Penrose
Team Leader: Renee McGaffney
Content Written by: Renee McGaffney
What started out as a few raised beds in a parking lot blossomed into an innovative outdoor classroom. The idea of the project started five years ago after a small outdoor garden proved to be an enjoyable and beneficial component of the 21st Century After School Program. The exercise of collaboration between
administrators, teachers, students, and community partners resulted in the development of an outdoor classroom for students to enjoy across all grade levels in the Wildwood School District. The “Classroom by the Sea” was completed in October 2019 with grant funding and generous donations from many community members.
The seed of an idea was able to grow with grants from the Ocean First Bank as well as Sustainable Jersey for Schools. This money along with donations from the Home Depot, Garden Greenhouse and Nursery, and Troiano Masonry made this endeavor possible.
Wildwood is looking forward to the first bloom in order to reap the many benefits of The Classroom by Sea. The outdoor classroom will be utilized to address the areas of Health and Nutrition, Food Production, and Academics. Students who participate in the 21st Century After School Program will continue to participate in the planting and caring for the harvest while having the opportunity to consume their products thus contributing to nutrition and healthy eating habits. Harvested produce will
provide a farm to table learning experience to high school students in the Warrior Café, a student run restaurant. In addition, teachers will use the greenhouse to supplement or complement their specific curriculum and instruction.