More than 20 years ago, Dr. Katrina Macht showed me excellent teaching in action through outdoor learning, when I first visited Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater, New Jersey. To this day, she uses all the best practices to engage her students — project-based learning, inquiry, experiential learning, environmental literacy, and service. macht-mantisJust outside the school’s door is Hillside’s Meadows and Trails, an incredible outdoor learning space and Katrina’s real classroom. It’s there that she engages students most, builds community, and fosters hope. Students leave her classroom equipped with deep knowledge, an understanding of the world around them, and a commitment to a better world. Her impact is so strong that her students return to Hillside years after graduating to visit with her and to walk the Meadows and Trails. Katrina retires this year after 30+ years of teaching, but she will continue to be my expert on call and north star. I’m proud to make a donation to Out Teach to honor her and the lasting impact she’s had on so many. .

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Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.