Acorn Schools Nationally Recognized for Outdoor Learning Activities | Way of life


Acorn Elementary and Secondary Schools will kick off a week of outdoor learning beginning Monday, January 17, 2022 as part of National School Choice Week celebrations. Themes for the week will include: Project Wild, where students will learn about Arkansas wildlife; Project Learning Tree, where students will experience the outdoors; and Pause for Inspiration, where students will learn to use nature journaling to make good choices. Many activities will be conducted on the fifteen-acre Acorn Outdoor Classroom on campus.

Throughout the week, students will learn from speakers and presentations led by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, including: Southwest Regional Educator Casey Hardaway; Wild Project Coordinator Sheila Connerly; Rob Beadel, Learning Tree Director of the Arkansas Project; and Cossatot River State Park Interpreter and Ozark Chiquapin Board Member

Victoria Young.

This event is scheduled to coincide with the historic celebration of the National School Choice

Week 2022, which will feature tens of thousands of School Choice celebrations in all 50 states. “The Ouachita River School District promotes outdoor education programs for all of our students. Our 15-acre outdoor classroom on the Acorn campus provides a rich learning environment where teachers can incorporate content to make learning meaningful and relevant,” said Kathy Rusert. ORSD Superintendent Jerry Strasner said, This is a great opportunity and celebration for our district to promote outdoor learning and enrich student learning experiences. The purpose of the Ouachita River School District is to SERVE – to see everyone receive victory every day. Learning at its best!”

The Ouachita River School District was chosen as one of 70 schools to be a “featured” school for this national event. National School Choice Week spotlights efficiency

K-12 education options for children, also focusing on traditional public, chartered, magnetic, online, private, and home education options. Each January, participants plan tens of thousands of celebrations — such as school fairs and open houses — to raise awareness of school choice in all 50 states. School Choice Week also develops K-12 education resources and guides for families. As a non-profit effort, the Week is apolitical and non-partisan and does not advocate for legislation. For more information, visit

For more information on outdoor learning activities at ORSD campuses, contact Kathy Rusert at (479) 394-4833 or [email protected]


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