Beyond Sunday Grant Connects Students with God’s Creation
STREAM Care for Creation Outdoor Classroom
With a Beyond Sunday grant awarded in 2017, Assumption (Mattese) Parish Grade School has developed the STREAM Care for Creation Classroom, an outdoor classroom that allows students to explore and care for God’s creation while learning how just one small connection with the environment can make a big impact on the natural world and benefit those who live here.
Assumption’s outdoor classroom implements STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum through the hands-on study of climatology, horticulture, biology, botany, art, music and religion. Students are educated in gardening methods and conservation and have excellent opportunity to learn about animals. The classroom includes bird feeders and bat boxes, and students especially enjoy tending to the six “Assumption Hens,” chickens of a variety of breeds who together lay more than 40 eggs per week. These eggs are consumed by Assumption students, priests and even parishioners.
Since establishing the STREAM Care for Creation Classroom, Assumption Parish Grade School has seen improvement in several areas. Enrollment has increased, as has student engagement. Student participation in extracurricular activities has risen, with a more than 50% increase in membership to the Green Club. A new Meteorology Club has also been introduced. In addition to these positive changes for students, the outdoor classroom has also increased community involvement. Assumption parishioners frequently visit the area (which includes the Stations of the Cross) after Mass or sporting events to explore or pray. The parish’s Senior Ministry even helps tend to the garden in the summer while the students are on break.
There is enthusiasm throughout the archdiocese surrounding the STREAM Care for Creation Classroom. Recognizing the connections Assumption students and community members are making with God’s creation—the environment, animals and other people—many parishes and schools have expressed interest in creating their own outdoor educational, faith-based areas.
Beyond Sunday school grants are available for 2019!
CLICK HERE to learn how your school can apply.
The Roman Catholic Foundation builds endowed funds that will support Catholic parishes, schools and ministries throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis for generations to come.
Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri
Tax Identification Number: 46-3309222
Roman Catholic Foundation
12 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis, MO 63119