Students at Barcroft Elementary School will now be able to comfortably sit outside during outdoor classes thanks to a project coordinated by Mary Sanders, coordinator for Healthy Community Action Team Arlington and a founding member of the Arlington Living Schoolyard Initiative (ALSI).
Following the installment of outdoor-learning sites at Barcroft by ALSI, Sanders and Barcroft PTA representatives discussed how to improve outside access so that all students stayed clean, dry and warm with insulated, waterproof seating. After placing a call out for volunteers and material donation through social media, Girl Scout Cadette Troops #5742 and #5221 volunteered to make more than 200 “sit-upons” using colorful vinyl grocery bags and duct tape for the students.
Sit-upons, a tradition of campers popularized by Girl Scouts, are small, portable seats that keep the sitter dry and warm when on the bare ground.
ALSI is a coalition of Arlington organizations, agencies and individuals whose mission is to provide every child in our community with access to nature on their schoolyards. The organization uses resources developed by the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiatives.
“We are thrilled to help the children at Barcroft be outdoors learning in comfort,” said Nancy Striniste, director of East Coast programs for Green Schoolyards America and a founder of ALSI. “This is another step towards a comprehensive plan for Barcroft to use the outdoors for learning that we hope to help them to implement over the next year, and then to expand to all Arlington public schools.”
The Barcroft PTA and ALSI helped implement the plan by providing picnic tables built and donated by a Barcroft neighbor Lou Cesa. Twins Ace Hardware in Clarendon also donated two picnic tables.