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Investing in outdoor learning spaces for education, health

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PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo Joins students and staff for this major groundbreaking event. PSJAISD Image.
PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo Joins students and staff for this major groundbreaking event. PSJA ISD Image.

Texas Border Business

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PHARR, Texas – Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) hosted groundbreaking events for new outdoor learning spaces at three district locations on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. The groundbreakings took place at Chavez Elementary in Pharr, jointly at Drs. Reed & Mock Elementary and Cantu Elementary in San Juan, and Alamo Middle School in Alamo.  

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This was part of PSJA ISD’s continuing efforts to embrace outdoor learning classrooms through open-air learning spaces. These projects will extend beyond the classroom by addressing both educational and health-related benefits for students, staff, and the overall community.  

PSJA ISD Image

“PSJA ISD continues to provide our students and teachers with the best facilities to promote learning,” said PSJA School Board President Jorge Zambrano. “Thank you to all who are playing a role in making these projects possible.” 

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In San Juan, the new outdoor learning space will serve two schools, Drs. Reed & Mock Elementary and Arnoldo Cantu Elementary, and their neighboring community. 

“We want to provide beautiful outdoor spaces where our students can be active while learning important concepts through hands-on learning,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Research shows that there are many benefits to initiatives like these, and we are proud to provide these unique and innovative opportunities for our students and staff while also serving our community. Our students will use these during the school day, and they will be open to our community to enjoy in the evenings.” 

In addition to exercise stations, volleyball and basketball courts, and playgrounds, the improvements will include shaded amphitheater structures with student seating that will allow teachers to take lessons outside. 

Through these efforts, students will also learn about science and conservation. At PSJA ISD students get to learn about sustainability and environmental awareness through the district’s curriculum and extracurricular organizations. Each year, many get to learn about nature and the environment through outdoor classrooms that feature native habitat gardens. The district has been recognized at the state and national level for these initiatives. 

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