School’s Out(doors): Place-based Education Responds to COVID-19 and Beyond was created by  PEER Associates in collaboration with Shelburne Farms, the Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative, and a Park for Every Classroom. It came about as a result of interviews and conversations with dozens of decision makers in schools and national parks. When asked what factors contributed most potently to decisions to do or not do more PBE, these leaders converged on the power of personal conversations. The research indicated that people tend to be convinced by seeing or hearing about real life examples with messages targeted to their particular needs and concerns. That’s why this booklet contains so many contacts for specific PBE experts willing to have those conversations.  Please urge anyone getting ready to take the next step toward doing more PBE to contact them!

Need a little help in the midst of all the changes, and dare I say, craziness, happening during the beginning of this school year?  Here’s a new resource designed for those of you who are seeking to provide some core essentials for your students, such as healthy learning spaces, understanding of equity issues, social-emotional development, and mutually-beneficial relationships with local communities. While place-based education has always been a powerful approach to learning, it’s now more important than ever as a powerful answer to COVID-19 and other critical issues we are facing.

For those of you who have the expertise, but want to build more financial, administrative or school board backing for your programs, the booklet summarizes several talking points for making the case for PBE with links to current and time-tested research evidence. It provides exemplar stories and, importantly, contact information for other PBE champions who can help you build a network of support for your work.  

Please share the following link with principals, park administrators, educators, community partners, parents, or anyone else looking to dive into PBE:

bit.ly/schoolsoutdoors

One of the things I love about this booklet is it is designed to be customizable–to be place-based! PEER can help you and your partners create a version that includes stories, pictures, and contact information tailored to your school, park, region, program, or other stakeholder audience.  Please contact them at Peer Associates if you are interested.

A huge thanks to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Wellborn Ecology Fund and the National Park Service for making this publication possible.

NOTE: If you want to print your own hard copies for distribution in workshops or at conferences, you can do that directly at uprinting.com. Short run booklets will cost around $7 each for 10-100 booklets, and bulk booklets cost between $2 and $4 each, with a minimum run of 250.