Take it outside: Scout builds learning environment at Smart Start

Published 9:34 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

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When Jackson Clark set out to complete an Eagle Scout project, he wanted something that went above and beyond a typical”scale.

He thought big, and his project will now benefit some of the youngest learners in the community.

Jackson designed and constructed an outdoor learning environment at Smart Start of Davie County, 1278 Yadkinville Road in Mocksville.

The fenced in space includes a whisper tube, a sand/water table, a musical area with chimes, a sensory wall, a colorful PVC pipe musical element and a story corner.  The space has plenty of room for young learners and their caregivers to explore and play.

The outdoor learning environment will be a place where Smart Start’s Parent Educators can host activities and meet with families.  The space will also serve as the main location for a new “play and learn” program that will be launching soon.

The space has hosted a couple of story times and has already been a place for some Parents as Teachers families to meet for playdates.  Families visiting Smart Start of Davie County’s Lending Library, have found their way out to the space.

The official ribbon cutting was on Wednesday, March 2, which also happened to be Dr. Seuss’s birthday.The Smart Start staff was honored to have Jackson, his parents, Melissa and Jeff Clark, board members, family members, and community members present for the event.  There were more than 50 people in attendance. It began with Jackson cutting the ribbon, and then there was a story time of three Dr. Seuss favorites, followed by time to explore and play in the space, a couple of art and crafts activities and a snack.  There was a photo opportunity with Dolly’s cutout and a birthday card honoring Dr. Seuss for those young and old to pose with for a photo.

The event will hopefully lead the way as more activities are planned in this space and as new programming begins.  The staff and board of Smart Start of Davie is grateful to Jackson, his family, his Scout troop and all who donated and helped make this learning environment possible.

Those with young children are invited to come by and check out the space during business hours M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  Stay tuned to the Smart Start website and social media pages for more information about upcoming events.

Smart Start of Davie is a non-profit organization serving all young children and families in Davie County for over 24 years.  For more information about early education programs, contact 336-751-2113 or info@daviesmartstart.org or visit www.daviesmartstart.org.

“The staff and I are completely blown away by this fantastic outdoor learning environment,” said Gena Taylor, executive director of Smart Start of Davie. “We had suggestions for the space, and Jackson took our ideas and ran with them.Jackson is so creative, and he and his team were incredibly talented to create such unique learning spaces throughout the large fenced in area.  What a wonderful addition this is for our programing. We thank Jackson, his family and his fellow troop members for the countless hours spent on this marvelous Eagle Scout project.”