State Senator Patty Ritchie visited the Madrid-Waddington Central School District to see the district’s newly improved nature trail and outdoor classroom.
Senator Ritchie provided the school district with a $50,000 grant to help students tap into the learning potential of the great outdoors. The district used the funding to upgrade its nature trail, construct the outdoor classroom and enhance the overall experience of student learning outdoors.
“From wildlife to the environment, there are so many learning opportunities for students when they are outside,” Senator Ritchie said.
“Moving a class outdoors is also a great way to boost a child’s health and wellness. It is wonderful to see how Madrid-Waddington is improving the overall education of its students through the great outdoors.”
"Allowing our students to spend time learning in an outdoor environment has increased student engagement by expanding instruction outside the typical four walls. During this time of increased curricular demands and heavy integration of technology it is vitally important to promote outside exploration and play,” Madrid-Waddington Central School District Superintendent Eric Burke said.
“This grant truly demonstrates Senator Ritchie's understanding of student needs and her commitment to the north country. We cannot thank Senator Ritchie enough for helping our students get the most out of their education here at Madrid-Waddington."
This project is just one way Senator Ritchie has expanded educational opportunities in the Madrid-Waddington Central School District. In recent years, she has secured funding to upgrade audio/visual equipment in the auditorium, expand literacy education for young students and launch her “Seeds of Success” program—which makes agriculture a larger part of the curriculum—in the district.
(Senator Patty Ritchie is pictured with Madrid-Waddington Central Transportation Director/Head of Buildings and Grounds Craig Ashley on her tour of the district’s Nature Trail and Outdoor Classroom)