(Sarah Gibson/NHPR)

A year ago, New Hampshire schools shut down for what many thought would just be three weeks. Now, schools across the state are reopening fully. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson visited Deerfield Community School, where teachers and students have been spending a lot of the pandemic outside. And as they return, many are hoping that doesn’t change.

If you walk past Deerfield Community School and into the woods, you’ll come across a scene a bit like a fairy tale.

First graders are sitting on tree stumps in dappled sunlight working on math assignments. Beyond them lies thirty acres of woods and pond.

Marilyn Riordan, sporting a pink unicorn mask, says this is the best kind of classroom.

“I like nature, so I like being outside,” she says.

When it’s chilly, Marilyn and her fellow first graders tend to a fire in the fire pit.

Seven more outdoor classrooms at this public school are scattered through the woods. Community members built them last summer for the pandemic, with tens of thousands of dollars in donated labor and supplies.

Read the rest of the story at NHPR’s website.