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Schools receive grants for outdoor learning areas

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County Public Schools students at two different schools soon will have an additional area that will enrich their learning experience.

Camp Creek Elementary and Hooper Renwick School both recently received grants to help improve or create an outdoor area to support what the students are learning inside the building, according to a news release.

At Camp Creek Elementary, the 2009 Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant will fund the Camp Creek Outdoor Classroom Improvement Project.

The school will use the $4,475 grant to purchase a tool shed stocked with rakes, shovels, hoses and other equipment for its existing outdoor classroom. In addition, the school will purchase weather stations that will allow students to monitor weather conditions in their school's community.

Additionally, a new Recreational Outdoor Center will be built at Hooper Renwick School, a special entity which serves middle and high school-aged students with special needs.

With a grant of $9,600, also from Lowe's, the school's Recreational Outdoor Center will feature swings, balance beams, parallel bars, swing bars, monkey bars, picnic tables and benches. The area will be built with students with special needs in mind. The space will be used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, teachers and other professionals who work with the school's student population.

For many of the students, this outdoor center will be their primary source for physical activity, as well as an area for them to develop their socialization skills.