MCCELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) – Students are learning math, science, geography, and other subjects with environmental based learning. It's part of the curriculum at a new charter school for students in rural Charleston County.
Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School or "CREECS" for short, opened its doors to students for the first time in August.
"Kids that come to our school they have boots, they have bug spray, and they're out in the marsh, in the fields, in the forest at a minimum of three hours a week," Principal Dr. Sally I'Anson said.
"The brain based research says if kids have experienced it, it stays in their mind and they can connect it to other things."
For example planting these cotton plants may help students understand the history of the area, or going out to the marsh may help students realize how bodies of water are connected.
"The marsh leads to the creek and all the trash in the creek leads to the Atlantic Ocean," 3rd grader Eliza Crouch said.
Some parents say they were driving their children 45 minutes or more away to the Charleston area for private or traditional public schools. They say they were happy to have the option for a charter school in rural McClellanville.
"To be able to go to work, know that my children are here at school at a good school, and then be able to be close by on the days I don't work, it's lovely," parent Karen Kearns said.
Whether in the classroom doing traditional lessons or outside the school, students say that they love CREECS.
So far 61 students are enrolled at the new charter school from grades K-5, and they are accepting new students. There are plans to add one new grade a year until the eighth grade.
CREECS falls under the South Carolina Public Charter School District, so it is publicly funded and any South Carolina students can attend, but primarily the school serves Charleston and Georgetown counties.
School officials have a grand opening scheduled for October 12.