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Elementary school turns schoolyard into 'learning laboratory'

The Roots Foundation has been working with Vance Elementary for more than a year to create an interactive learning environment beyond school walls. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Vance Elementary's schoolyard is turning into a learning laboratory thanks to a new non-profit.

The Roots Foundation has been working with Vance Elementary for more than a year to create an interactive learning environment beyond school walls.

Lowe's Home Improvement got in on the fun as well. It's contributed volunteers and supplies to help make the vision come to life.

The goal is to create a positive relationship between students and the outdoors.

"Ms. Diamond, who's our fest coordinator, she works with the kids from planting seeds, all the way to harvesting them, and then also cooking them in the winter time," Assistant Principal Shannon Baggett said. "So, she is a true educator in bringing farm to table even within our school."

"There's a lot of evidence that outdoor learning is a critical part of the development of a child, and we kind of consider ourselves as part of this kind of greater movement," Roots Foundation Director Justin Holt said.

The Roots Foundation also said incorporating the natural world into a school day can improve attention and behavior, as well as eating and exercise habits and academic performance.

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