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From the News


Take it outside: Scout builds learning environment at Smart Start

Families pose with a cardboard cutout of Dolly Parton at an event celebrating the completion of an outdoor learning environment at Smart Start of Davie Parents as Teachers affiliate.

Families pose with a cardboard cutout of Dolly Parton at an event celebrating the completion of an outdoor learning environment at Smart Start of Davie Parents as Teachers affiliate.

When Jackson Clark set out to complete an Eagle Scout project, he wanted something that went above and beyond a typical scale. He thought big, and his project will now benefit some of the youngest learners in the community.

Jackson designed and constructed an outdoor learning environment at Smart Start of Davie County, at 1278 Yadkinville Road in Mocksville, NC.

The fenced-in space includes a whisper tube, a sand/water table, a musical area with chimes, a sensory wall, a colorful PVC pipe musical element, and a story corner. The space has plenty of room for young learners and their caregivers to explore and play.

The outdoor learning environment will be a place where Smart Start’s Parents as Teachers Parent Educators can host activities and meet with families. The space will also serve as the main location for a new “play and learn” program that will be launching soon.

The space has hosted a couple of storytimes and has already been a place for some Parents as Teachers’ families to meet for playdates. Families visiting Smart Start of Davie County’s Lending Library have found their way out to the space.

The official ribbon cutting was on Wednesday, March 2, which also was Dr. Seuss’s birthday. There was an opportunity for kids to pose with a cut-out of Dolly Parton and a birthday card honoring Dr. Seuss. Parents as Teachers National Center has a long-standing partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which provides free books to children enrolled in Parents as Teachers programs. Smart Start of Davie is a non-profit organization that administers the Parents as Teachers program and has served young children and families in Davie County for more than 24 years.