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JIS receives grant for outdoor classroom

Jemison Intermediate School’s outdoor classroom is $3,000 closer to its completion because of a grant awarded by Senator Cam Ward on April 23.

Ward presented the grant to gifted education teacher Rachel Mims, who is spearheading the outdoor classroom project through the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

“This came from the state education budget with a community services grant for $3,000,” Ward said. “It came about because Mrs. Mims reached out and called and was aggressive about pursuing for outdoor classroom, so she’s the one who initiated the conversation — which was great. [I was] very moved by the teacher.”

The outdoor classroom will be located behind the school, near a stream and walking trail.

According to Mims, plans for the project include a life-sized chessboard, a pavilion and smaller stations, such as a weather station and a sensory station.

“I think it shows initiative, creativity. I’m very proud to support it,” Ward said. “It’s good to see educators as motivated as Mrs. Mims advocating for a program like this.”

Many funds and materials have yet to be secured before the outdoor classroom can commence construction. Project completion is not expected for at least one year, but progress is being made.

JIS welcomes any further donations and sponsorships for the classroom.

Interested individuals can make a donation or learn more about the outdoor classroom by contacting Principal D.J. Nix at (205) 280-4840.