It’s a good day for Lamar Middle School. Earlier this morning, students, faculty and staff unveiled their new Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) and received a donation of 400 earbuds from one of the district’s long-standing partners, Toyota of Irving. 

“We are extremely grateful to see the efforts toward creating learning and growth opportunities become reality in digital learning opportunities through Toyota of Irving’s generous donation and real-world science experiences through our new Outdoor Learning Center,” says Lamar Middle School Principal Eric Ogle. 

Lamar Middle teachers of all grades and content areas will be able to utilize the OLC as a true outdoor classroom. The science department will take advantage of the space for hands-on experiences, including analyzing the direction of plant growth; understanding plant needs for water, sunlight and space; and observing how the ecosystem interacts. The OLC will serve as a pollinator habitat as each plant has been selected due to its natural attraction for pollinators.

As for future uses, the school’s LIFE skills classes will work in tandem with the science classes to grow a vegetable garden on the additional planters around the fence. This collaboration is extremely important, as the OLC was designed to be accessible for all students with a wheelchair-inclusive design.

The campus is also celebrating the donation of 400 earbuds, thanks to a partnership with Toyota of Irving. Allison Benavides and Areli Contreras, both students at Lamar Middle, accepted the donation on behalf of the school. 

Sixth-grade students will use this generous donation from Toyota of Irving to connect to their iPads during class and at home for homework.

Mark Baker, community engagement director for Toyota of Irving, was instrumental in the donation and is thrilled to partner with Lamar Middle. 

“Toyota of Irving knows better than anybody that technology is the key to innovation and progress,” says Baker. “We are thrilled that our donation of earbuds will help the next generation of students at Lamar Middle School jumpstart their learning and prepare for an exciting, technology-rich future. We challenge all organizations doing business in Irving and Las Colinas to follow suit and support our local schools – it’s the best way to ensure that the community we share continues to thrive.” 

Photos from the Ribbon Cutting and Toyota of Irving donation can be found on the district’s Photo Gallery