Meriden primary students benefit from a new learning environment


MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) – Meriden students, your time has come. Wednesday is the first day of your new academic school year!

Eyewitness News went to Roger Sherman Elementary School.

Meriden students return to class, but that doesn’t necessarily mean entering a large brick building.

That’s because when it comes to learning, the Meriden School District likes to go beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom.

“Kids live and act like real scientists, and they love it,” said Maryjean Giannetti, coach and K-5 science specialist.

If there’s a silver lining that came out of education during COVID, it was thinking outside the box, or rather, thinking outside the classroom.

“Students were spending a lot of time, having snacks, taking breaks and learning anyway, so it was just a natural transition to have the classrooms here in the lodges to work with,” said Anita Gennaro, principal. of the Roger Sherman School.

Gennaro says it was a no-brainer to bring the learning into a new environment.

“It breaks down the four walls that they are used to being in the same space and now they can go out and enjoy nature,” Gennaro said.

From reading and math to art and science, there’s no subject that can’t be taught in these beautiful outdoor pavilions.

“From a scientific perspective, learning outdoors is the ideal environment where students can live authentically, they can study their resident falcon on their school campus, they can see the interaction of the ecosystem and they can notice things that they can’t really notice inside the classroom,” Giannetti said.

Countless studies have shown the many benefits of education in nature, including higher standardized test scores, improved mental and physical health, increased imagination, and the promotion of happiness and productivity.

Emily Benson, a fourth-grade teacher, adds that although this is a non-traditional approach to learning, the fundamentals and academic goals remain the same.

“Remember that your child’s teacher loves your child and always has their best interests in mind and will always work as hard as they can to make sure they succeed academically and socially,” Benson said.


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