DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Think about your third-grade classroom - four walls, hard chairs, desks, and a chalkboard. At Highlands Elementary School in Dothan, leaders are working toward revamping the classroom learning experience.
The school has spent the last year raising money to create a Learning Garden for students.
"It was something that was needed because kids spend so much time inside," explained principal Vicki Davis. "We wanted to get them outside. It can do so much for your physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's a good place and a good space."
The garden is a certified butterfly garden, has a goldfish pond, fruit trees, planters, and an outdoor classroom space. Students agree they enjoy having class outside versus inside.
"You have more space and you're not so close to everyone," said student Nova Tran.
"I love it!" added fellow student Sam Broadway. "My class comes out here all the time and we read most of the time because our teacher likes to read. Our math teacher brings us out here to do math. It's a lot of fun out here."
In addition to providing a relaxing environment for students, it also helps bring to life material they've learned in the classroom.
"There is a worm bed kit, so they can implement that and watch the worms grow and there are raised plant beds here so they can plant fruits and vegetables," said Davis.
"If you're doing a little mini eco-system project, they can come here and do that," said Tran.
Davis says everyone benefits from the space.
"This is a good space for teachers to come and refresh themselves if they can find five minutes during the day," said Davis.
In addition to being useful for students, the space is also open to the public.