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San Jacinto College
Central Campus Texas Student Education Association
News Release
Sunday, March 20, 2011

San Jacinto College students help rebuild outdoor classroom for elementary school

San Jacinto College students Dynae Carver (left) and Roxanne Coatney (right) volunteer their time helping to rebuild the Bayshore Elementary School outdoor classroom after its destruction during Hurricane Ike. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.PASADENA, Texas - San Jacinto College (SJC) students are helping Bayshore Elementary School students rebuild their outdoor classroom after its destruction during Hurricane Ike.

The student volunteers, part of the Central campus Texas Student Education Association, are installing four garden beds this semester for a total of seven beds for pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade students. The community service program is funded through a CLASS (Community Learning through America’s Schools) grant from the National Education Association (NEA) student program, a grassroots organization through the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) that serves more than 55,000 students nationwide who are preparing for jobs in the education profession. 

"Knowing that Bayshore Elementary was recently rebuilt following severe flooding from Ike, we thought they might need some help," said Patty Steinke, biology professor with San Jacinto College Central. "We contacted the school last May and found their needs to be in their newly-created outdoor learning space."

The purpose of the outdoor classroom is to provide children with a learning area for such subjects as environmental science, plant observation, and insect life cycles. Patricia Herrera-Johnson, principal at Bayshore Elementary, said the classroom falls in line with the school's initiative for interactive learning.

"We've been pushing for more hands-on science learning," said Herrera-Johnson. "The outdoor classroom helps us with that, along with teaching children responsibilities that come with a garden."

For SJC education major Dynae Carver, building the garden is about participating in a project that will serve as a learning tool for current and future generations.

"I'm proud to be a part of something for kids to use in the years to come," said Carver. "An outdoor classroom gives them more responsibility and a better environment for them to learn and love."

Besides the La Porte Independent School District and TSTA, SJC has also received assistance from the La Porte Fire Department, Superior Sprinklers, and Ewing Irrigation on the project.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s workforce training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please visit
, or call 281-998-6150.

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