Tiger Trails will be fun, educational

Published 5:39 pm Friday, August 10, 2012

Volunteers help install equipment Friday at Clanton Elementary School's planned Tiger Trails area.

Children aren’t always excited about giving up the outdoor fun of summer for a school year spent in a classroom.

Clanton Elementary School students might not have to make that sacrifice.

School officials, volunteers and others are working to create an outdoor area, called Tiger Trails, that will create new opportunities for education and play.

“I think they’re going to learn a lot, and they’re going to have a ball,” CES Principal Rebecca Threlkeld said. “It’s just a motivating way to learn. When you do it yourself, you don’t just memorize it.”

CES participates in the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, a program that focuses on “inquiry-based” learning, where students learn by doing instead of sitting and listening.

Along those lines, Tiger Trails will include pockets that focus on different subjects. There will be areas on water, plants, balancing, insects, art and music.

The pockets will feature equipment that allows students to learn about the subjects in a playground setting.

Tiger Trails is located adjacent to the school on land that was previously used as a butterfly garden.

Threlkeld said the school and its Parent-Teacher Organization raised funds for several years to be able to pay for the $50,000 project.

“The school is very appreciative to the PTO and all the parents who helped with fundraisers,” she said. “We’re excited.”

Tiger Trails should be ready for use by the time school starts, on Aug. 20.