/Classroom dedicated to MLK
(PHOTO/ Zenith Shrestha) Troy Elementary students experience the outdoor classroom after Troy University volunteers cleaned up the nature trail.

Classroom dedicated to MLK

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Zach Henson

Assistant News Editor

Students and community members gathered on Tuesday at Troy Elementary School to dedicate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Outdoor Classroom.

“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” said Teresa Sims, the principal of Troy Elementary. “It’s just a cool nature trail, a wonderful resource for us, and this (the outdoor classroom) is the crown jewel of it.”

Sims also described the work done by volunteer students from Troy University building the outdoor classroom, the tables in it and cleaning the nature trail.

She described to her students the variety of learning experiences available there such as reading, art and science projects.

According to Avery Livingston, the coordinator of the Office of Civic Engagement at Troy University, the outdoor classroom was the product of a partnership between Troy University and Troy Elementary, and it was funded by Youth Service America for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

“I appreciate the schools (of Troy) providing a platform for the Office of Civic Engagement,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves to the Troy Elementary students. “We’ve got people that come to Troy to go to school from all over the world, and the fact that they take interest in you and in our community is a blessing.”

“I think it’s a great symbol of the partnership between Troy Elementary and Troy University,” said Livingston. “This is a real representation of public service, partnership and community work.”

Reeves encouraged the students to learn from the example of the Troy students who helped build the outdoor classroom and to give back to their communities as they grow.

“Intelligence and character are the goal of education,” he said, quoting King. “We don’t want to just learn for the sake of learning, but we want to build character, and a way to do that is by giving back and working together.”