Central Park School for Children

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October 2014

What If All of Your Favorite Parks Closed – Tomorrow?


This is precisely the question that Aaron Sebens has been asking his 4th-grade class at Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC as part of a persuasive writing contest. This contest combines his passion for teaching and love of the great outdoors to challenge his students to think about the importance of park preservation.  Aaron begins the contest by asking his class to imagine that all of the parks they visited throughout the school year are going to close. Then each student must advocate for the protection of funding for just ONE to remain open. Here is what Nora wrote about Hanging Rock State Park:

“Imagine standing at the top of a huge rock overhang. Mountain laurels bob in the cool wind. Mist drifts in billows up toward you. A few crisp leaves go twirling and leaping off the edge. This is Hanging Rock, [a place] you would never want to take down.”

Wow! I feel like I could be standing there with Nora! Thank you Aaron for your efforts to cultivate future park stewards by taking your students to parks and creating this terrific essay project that inspires them to write about and advocate for their parks.



Central Park School Gets Creative With Nature Poems

My friends from the Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC spent a lot of time creating some wonderful acrostic poems based on their experiences with nature. To see all of the students' poems, click here


Central Park School Climbs to the Top

Buddy Bison and the Central Park School for Children have already had some great adventures together! Central Park is a charter elementary school in 

DurhamNorth Carolina

 that participates in the Where’s Buddy Bison Been? program.

The 4th grade from Central Park journeyed to Hanging Rock State Park to dive deep into their study of North Carolina and rocks and minerals. The students scaled the namesake peak, wrote poems and drew the Piedmont landscape before descending. Once on flat ground they drew and measured local fauna and finished the day swimming in the lake built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.

MAY 2011

Central Park School Students Share Reflections from Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

My friends at Central Park School in Durham, NC recently visited Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Pea Island boasts ocean, sand dunes, freshwater, brackish water and is home to 365 species of birds as well as mammals and reptiles.

By Lucy, Central Park School, Durham, NC

Running Down Kill Devil Hills

I was so anxious and it was only the car ride there. I can't wait to slide down the cool soft sand of Jockey's Ridge. Yes, I did know I would get extremely sandy rolling down the tallest sand dune on the east coast, and of course I knew I would get a huge mouthful of sand. All of these things don't sound much like what I would like to do but something told me if I avoided the right amount of sand I would have the time of my life. When the cars arrived in the parking lot everyone hopped out I felt the outer banks spring breeze. We were on a field trip here from Durham, N.C the whole class so like 20 people including the chaperones. We all walked over to the bathrooms and then started up the trail.


The First Picture: A True Story

by Emelia, Central Park School for Children, (Durham, NC) Fourth Grade

Wow, I thought as I ran up to the Occoneechee Mountain picnic area. This place is great! Three picnic tables were lined up, and the grass shimmered with dew. An open space with plenty of light looked great for playing. Large trees surrounded the open space and a huge forest in the back.

“Emelia, do you want to sit with me?” asked my friend Emma already at a picnic table.

“Sure Emma!” I said in a loud voice. All my other friends were there too: Lily, Lucy and Violet.

“Hey guys.” I said as I got to the table.

“Hey Emelia!” said Lily just as I sat down.

“I can’t wait to see what we’re doing next,” said Violet.

A ranger came to the area as we gathered around the picnic table. Everyone hushed as the ranger started to speak. “Hello everyone. I’m Ranger Christopher. We are going on a hike today, as you may know, but before we will talk about the rocks we have here at Occoneechee!”

A while later we went hiking. The trail was covered in leaves different colors: tan, red, yellow, and brown. The leaves crunched beneath me, as I stepped forward. We stopped a little to talk about rocks, trees, and other things. We made our way to the overlook. We got over to the overlook; birds flew, and a pit reached down in the rocks; trees were in their fancy autumn colors.

“Everyone over here for a Buddy Bison picture!” Aaron, our teacher called. “Ranger Christopher, you get in there too.” Now we have our first Buddy picture, of a beautiful place at a mountain called:  Occoneechee!

Nov 2010

Going Crabbing with Central Park School for Children

Central Park School for Chidren in Durham, NC recently took some kids (and Buddy Bison) on a field trip to Masonboro Island where they went crabbing! Asa, a fourth grader at Central Park School wrote an essay about the trip.
Going Crabbing
by Asa
“Don't throw it like that, Alec!” I said.
We were standing on the sandy shores of Masonboro Island trying to catch crabs.
“I've got one!” Alec said.
As I reeled the soaking wet string onto the soft damp wood, Alec said, “Must be a piece of grass.” We reeled it in the rest of the way, and Alec threw it out again.
Suddenly I heard, “Sorry guys I think we've been skunked!” I turned around and saw it was a teacher who was speaking. We reeled our line the rest of the way in and trudged to the instructor. He said “Put your crabbing lines in this bucket and follow me to instructor Jane.”
As we walked to instructor Jane I said to myself, “I really didn't think crabbing would be that hard, but at least I learned something new.”