On a perfect fall day in October, Sacred Heart Villa students and teachers assembled in Berra Park for a special event known as The Fall Collaborative Study. As part of an emergent curriculum, Sacred Heart Villa, and its collaborating partners, The Missouri Botanical Garden, The Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, and the University of Missouri, held a morning of fun and learning for all the children. The teachers volunteered to work at different stations they set up around the park. Each area involved projects or activities that made use of math, science, art, reading and writing. The children studied seeds and leaves, made bead necklaces, decorated pine cones, painted with natural materials, and acted out stories from books. They were free to go from one station to the next and explore and create as they wished. There was also snack time, and time to enjoy the park’s playground equipment. The Fall Collaborative Study is part of the Sacred Heart Villa Reggio Emilia infused curriculum that offers opportunities not normally found in a traditional classroom setting. On this Tuesday morning, the laughter of happy children filled the air as Sacred Heart Villa and company turned a small park in the Hill Neighborhood into an impromptu outdoor classroom.
Special guests who helped with the learning and fun included Leslie Memula from the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, LaTonya Brown and Becky Donovan from the Missouri Botanical Garden Education Department, and Margaret Grant, University of Missouri Master Gardener.