Edge of the Schoolyard

Exploring the learning happening at the schoolyard’s edge, where education, policy, and community mingle

Why Write From the Edge of the Schoolyard?

Edge of the Schoolyard is a place to explore how learning happens amidst efforts to meld together education, policy in practice, and community in American schools. Sprinkled throughout are articles about connecting children with nature to strengthen learning and health, for individuals and communities. The writing reflects my experiences as a network strategist and communications consultant in my professional life, and my efforts as an active grassroots activist and school volunteer in the 10th largest school district in America, Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

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The Student Stewards We Raise

The Student Stewards We Raise

A colleague recently challenged my intention to include environmental stewardship as a vital component of public education. She asked why it should take such a central role, more so than say, art or music.

I had a difficult time mounting a defense for my position

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What Words Mean for Children and Communities

What Words Mean for Children and Communities

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Perhaps like you, I used this retort as a kid, most memorably at the morning bus stop when I was being made fun of for something trivial. I was fortunate to not be a target for bullying, but like most kids, I had my moments of being teased.

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Crossing the Street at School

Crossing the Street at School

After dismissal recently, I led a tour of nearby Wolftrap Creek for my school's teachers. They were interested in learning about this haven for outdoor learning literally across the street from school property. I had offered to lead this tour to my principal two weeks...

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Turning Environmental Trash Into Artistic Treasure

Turning Environmental Trash Into Artistic Treasure

Trash or treasure? This is a game I play with students when we are out walking. On a beach, the options could be seashells, balloons, or sticks. Near a creek, we find plastic bottles, newspaper, or smooth glass. Some finds are more easy to categorize than others. This...

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Where Advocacy and Decision-Making Meet

Where Advocacy and Decision-Making Meet

You know how important it is to make our schools healthy places to learn and work. You also know how urgent it is to protect and repair our environment. But the fact is, change takes time. Ugh! What’s a school sustainability champion to do? Well, I’m here to tell you...

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3 Ways to Advocate, Any Day

3 Ways to Advocate, Any Day

Part I of the series, Everyday Advocacy If you’re working on a cause you are passionate about, YOU are an advocate! Advocacy - effectively communicating about your passion and what is needed to support it - is just as important as implementing the technical work to...

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