By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
What if instead of reading about the wonders of God’s creations, students had the opportunity to witness them firsthand?
Thanks in part to an educational grant received from The Catholic Foundation in October, students at Holy Family Catholic Academy in Irving soon will get an opportunity to do just that.
According to Kristy Martinez, principal of Holy Family Catholic Academy, the grant is being used to fund a partnership with Out Teach, an organization that brings together personalized, professional learning outdoor spaces and easily accessible educational resources.
“Out Teach works to provide training and materials to teachers and schools to prepare and deliver outside lessons,” Martinez explained. “The Catholic Foundation grant we received is being used to cover the cost of professional development as well as some of the outdoor classroom materials.”
Out Teach partners with schools to reimagine elementary science education, Martinez said. The program provides comprehensive professional learning tools that teachers can easily access and immediately use. Martinez said those learning tools are combined with outdoor learning labs, offering an immersive experience that looks to “spark excitement” and improve the overall science learning.
According to its website, Out Teach is designed by educators with “real classroom experience” to deliver personalized hands-on training, collaborative partnerships, and easily accessible resources that help teachers “recast everyday outdoor spaces into exciting labs where anything is possible.”
“The goal is to give students at Holy Family Catholic Academy an opportunity to experience the wonders of science and God’s creation firsthand,” Martinez explained. “By going outside the classroom, we want to bring learning to life for our students.”
Martinez said Holy Family teachers are receiving training for the Out Teach program so that lessons can be initiated in the spring.
With the Out Teach program, Martinez said Holy Family students can unlock a new way of understanding and navigating the world around them.
“Students will get to experience learning and about God’s creation,” Martinez said. “Many of the lessons focus on care of the environment, which ties directly into our Catholic social teaching for God’s creations.”
Find more stories celebrating Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas in the Jan. 26 print edition of The Texas Catholic.