Outdoor Learning Space

Home » Outdoor Learning Space
Outdoor Learning Space2018-12-17T11:31:33+00:00

Beyond Recess

Most problems in life cannot be solved with formulae or memorized answers of the type learnt in school. They require the judgment, wisdom and creative ability that come from life experiences. For children, those experiences are embedded in play.

We Did It

We are proud to announce the opening of Ancona’s state-of-the-art Outdoor Learning Space. We could not have achieved this without our dedicated community of supporters with a strong commitment to outdoor and environmental education.

To think, it all began with camping trips. For all of its first fifty years of multicultural, child-centered education, Ancona has recognized the importance of connecting urban children to play and to the out-of-doors.  Trips to the forest preserves, dunes, prairies and beaches near Ancona along with overnight camping experiences filled with opportunities to swim, canoe, hike and muck about have long been intrinsic aspects of Ancona’s commitment to educating the whole child.

Children know inherently what researchers are discovering:  that unstructured free play is critical to their cognitive, social and emotional development. We believe we have an educational, and even moral, imperative to restore, as best a school can, unstructured free play to the long days our children spend in school.

Have you ever seen hundreds of young faces explode with wonder? And that’s not counting the adults, who look like children when they moon over the undulating giant yellow pipes, the red circles on an orange field, the playground that immediately says Ancona.

We did this together. I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude each time I peek outside and witness our students laugh, scream, climb, spin, slide and jump with authentic joy. Thank you Ancona community.

Nancy Nassr
Interim Head of School

Funding Phases

Quiet Phase (through Summer 2014)

  • Form Campaign Cabinet
  • Raise 90% of funds; identify leads for another 10%
  • House parties

Public Phase (School Year 2014-2015)

  • Reveal detailed plans to Ancona School Community
  • Raise 9% of funds
  • “Hello, Goodbye” Celebration

Challenge Phase (beginning Summer 2015)

  • Challenge Grant revealed to larger Ancona Community
  • Direct mail campaign to raise final 1% of funds

Design/Construction Phases

Concept Design

  • Committee formed, elements of final plan established
  • Engineering / Construction partners identified

Design Development

  • Engineering begins, permits sought, contractors chosen
  • Final sign-off on design

Construction Begins

Installation of final elements

Grand Opening