What is CPS Outside?

Green Umbrella’s CPS Outside Impact Team was formed in Fall 2019 to work towards the vision that all Cincinnati Public Schools’ students have equitable access to outdoor experiences and environmental education (both regular and routine and special activities), regardless of demographics, economic status or family support for such activities.

The team’s work is organized into five major categories, each of which is led by a working group. Current working groups and the goals they are working toward are described below.

  • Green Schoolyards: Every school campus has on-site resources for nature-based learning, exploration and play. These resources are well used during and after the school day. Most schools have greenspace within a 10 minute walk of school that they use for extended programming. 

  • Professional Development: Educators increase their comfort with taking students outside to interact with nature and increase their engagement with environmental education resources across the region. 

  • After School and Break Day: Community Learning Centers host increased after school and break day programming (ie spring break, professional development days, summer break) that get kids outside and learning about nature while supporting families’ childcare needs.

  • Curriculum Integration: Outdoor nature and environmental education is integrated into the CPS curriculum map so all students and teachers have equitable access to outdoor learning opportunities. Every student engages in outdoor/environmental/nature education every year.

  • Career Pathways: Increase student exposure to environmental, nature-based and agriculture-focused employment opportunities, increase perceptions that these career pathways are viable options for CPS students.

The team brings together representatives from the Cincinnati Public School District (CPS), public agencies such as park and recreation districts, environmental education organizations, parents and other community stakeholders. Ultimately we are working to help CPS reach its strategic goals that all students have healthy and active lifestyles in nature and develop environmental awareness.

Check out this video by LQ Consulting about the first outside classroom project, installed at Gamble Montessori Elementary School in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Cincinnati and Imago! 

Organizations participating in CPS Outside include:

Why get kids outside?

Research has established innumerable benefits to kids spending time outside… from mental and physical health to academic outcomes. Check out these great resources to learn more:

Map of Greenspace within a 10 minute walk of CPS campuses... coming soon!

Programs provided by CPS partner organizations:

Check out this Google Sheet to learn more about the programs that our partner organizations offer to Cincinnati Public Schools. There are many free programs available and we are updating this resources as new information becomes available.

For more information or to get involved, reach out to our Green Schoolyards Coordinator:

Cynthia Walters

Green Umbrella's collective impact work is supported by the generosity of:

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