Welcome to the 

Alexander Outdoor Classroom

The Alexander Outdoor Classroom, located on the campus of Alexander Central School in Alexander, New York, is a place where students in grades Pre-K through 12 come to play, learn, and enjoy nature.  Our space is open to the community.  The stations are often used by families after school hours.  The evidence being fantastic structures left behind in the Messy Materials station, sand castles and mud pies left at the Dirt and Digging Area, and creations made from sticks, stones, and shells on display in the Building Area and Nature Art station.  The community is encouraged enjoy nature in our beautiful space and to use our fitness stations and 1/4 mile walking path located at the rear of this outdoor space. 



click on the form below to find out how

 Volunteer Form



Buffalo Area Educators Visit the AOC

Every summer Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Depew, NY holds a 3-day Teacher Institute with hands-on professional development programs. Following last year's program, multiple teachers expressed an interest in seeing a "real" outdoor classroom, and the Reinstein Woods staff immediately thought of Alexander. 


During their visit on Wednesday, August 2nd institute participants ate lunch in our outdoor classroom pavilion, learned about how the AOC came to be, and how it is maintained and used. A PowerPoint presentation titled “Why Teach Outside” featuring pictures of students working, playing, and learning in our outdoor classroom provided them with information they can use in their own districts to encourage the development of spaces for outdoor learning. The visitors were very impressed by our space and took lots of pictures. 

High School Art Class Students Find Inspiration 

in the Outdoor Classroom


Alexander Central School was recognized by the Genesee Valley School Boards Association at its annual Leadership Day held at York Central School on Saturday, January 21, 2023.  School districts that are a part of the Genesee Valley BOCES were invited to nominate a program that is unique and provides a wonderful opportunity for their students. Our submission of the outdoor classroom was one of ten programs to receive the 2023 Excellence in Student Services Award


The Alexander community was invited to the outdoor classroom on October 15, 2022 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its official opening which took place on October 12, 2012.  The event began with a ceremony to honor Rusty Breton.  Members of the school community spoke about Rusty's service to the school district.  In addition to his involvement in Alexander sports programs, Rusty was a member of the original outdoor classroom committee and helped us with laying out the AOC stations. In 2016, his company, Breton Construction, donated the labor to build our pavilion which we named in his honor at the conclusion on the ceremony.

Guests were treated hotdogs and birthday cake and invited to participate in activities in the outdoor classroom.  The fall colors were a beautiful backdrop for this special event.


On Friday, April 29th, Arbor Day 2022, elementary students and staff planted 22 maple trees in the outdoor classroom.  Each class in grades pre-k through fifth planted one tree. Students used teamwork and problem solving skills to ensure that each member of their class could contribute in some way.  The trees were donated by United Materials, LLC and were delivered to the school by Frey Sand and Gravel.  Each student received an earth key chain and wildflower seeds to plant at home (also donated by United Materials) as a memento of the experience and a reminder to take care of our planet.  Tree planting is one way to do so.  The students are looking forward to caring for their baby trees and watching them grow.  The community is encouraged to come see the trees which are located along the entry path to the outdoor classroom and the fitness path at the rear.  Each tree is labeled with the species of tree as well as the name of the class that planted it.


Thank You Volunteers!

Members of the girls modified soccer team volunteered some of their time between the school day and soccer practice.  They worked together to repair the Messy Materials station.

Middle School Art Classes Display Work

Students from 8th Grade Art created sculptures of local birds last year in Mrs LaDuke’s class.  Unfortunately, with the school closure, these works were never displayed.  Now 23 birds are on display in the Outdoor Classroom for all to enjoy.  Nestled in their nature habitat, it becomes a game trying to find them all.  Come bird watch in the Outdoor Classroom this fall and learn to identify local birds!   


For the past three summers the outdoor classroom has included as one of the stations that comprised the district's summer recreation program.  An average of about 80 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade visited the site Monday through Thursday to enjoy the outdoor classroom stations and to take part in a variety of activities, including arts and crafts, cooking, and tending the raised beds.  This year we were pleased to have some visiting experts.  An educator from Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center taught a lesson about frogs.  She was able to include in her lesson frogs she found in our outdoor classroom!  Erin Saile, owner of "Porcelain Pig Ceramics," brought ceramic pieces for the kids to paint.  She returned on a second day to help the kids to create nature plaques by pressing objects found in nature into clay.  Mrs. Saile then fired the pieces in her shop. The kids were thrilled with the beautiful pieces they were able to take home. Dan Klinczar, district instrumental music teacher, had kids creating rhythms, using "Boom Whackers" and rhythm sticks while moving about some of the outdoor classroom stations.   

The theme for the last week of the program was "Farm to Table."  Participants in the summer recreation program sat down together to eat a lunch that they prepared using fruits and vegetables from local farmers.  Tables were set up in the outdoor classroom decorated with floral arrangements and place mats created by the kids.  Also on the tables were the children's ceramic plates and cups.  What a memorable way to end our summer program!


My Movie.wmv

Creating with clay.

Farm to table lunch.


Funding from the PEP great allowed us to add five fitness stations adjacent to the fitness path.


Mrs. Erica Swinehart's middle school reading class with the assistance of Mrs. Kristie Miller, school media specialist, has created a StoryWalk in the outdoor classroom.  A StoryWalk is a book that has been disassembled, laminated and presented page by page on a trail, bike path, or walkway to promote reading and exercise.  Our StoryWalk follows the path that surrounds the meadow at the rear of the outdoor classroom. Stories will change periodically.