LSU ECELP Receives Project Learning Tree Grant


August 30, 2019       

BATON ROUGE – LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool received a $1,000 grant from Project Learning Tree. 

In accordance with the program’s Reggio Emilia-inspired approach, the children provided input on the types of materials they wanted to add to their playground and class gardens. That input resulted in the purchase of enhancements for the playground and class gardens. 

The Playground Project was a collaborative effort involving children, families, and the community.  LSU ECELP families supported the project by raising additional funds during the program’s annual appeal, volunteering to put together toys, and donating plants for the gardens.

The LSU Kiwanis Club and other volunteers pruned gardens, assembled toys, and cleaned the playgrounds. “Outdoor learning is an extension of the classroom,” explains ECELP Director Angela Barnes. “When children play, they are learning how to solve problems, think symbolically, use tools to perform tasks, and learn about the physical properties of objects. The new materials support discovery and learning through nature.”

LSU ECELP provides an outdoor environment that inspires children’s creativity and allows them to engage in meaningful interactions with their peers and their teacher.

When asked about their favorite outdoor activity, one three-year-old student responded, “The wood blocks, because we can step on them!”

The mud kitchen is also a popular item among children. “The children absolutely love the mud kitchen,” says pre-K teacher Autumn Smith. “They always enjoy playing house in the classroom, and now they get to enjoy it on the playground.” 

A variety of items are now growing in gardens at the preschool including cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, strawberries, sunflowers, daisies, and carrots.  Through gardening children develop an appreciation of nature as they learn how to take care of their plants as they await to enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

About the School of Education

The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Research, and Counseling, including two completely online master’s programs. SOE offers a range of professional and academic degree programs that focus on preparing students for careers in education, research, policy formation and implementation, as well as program oversight. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners, and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. SOE is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.   

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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