Clarksville, Ind.—The Town of Clarksville is developing a new park located next to Renaissance Academy, part of the Clarksville Community School Corporation. The new green space is expected to open later this fall, but it needed a name. The Clarksville Parks and Recreation board of directors enlisted the help of Renaissance Academy learners to identify an appropriate name for the new park.
Over the course of several weeks, a group of 12 Renaissance Academy learners worked together to come up with the perfect name for the park located directly beside their school. As part of the project, the students toured the constructions site, met with Clarksville Parks staff and interviewed local historians.
“I have been so impressed with the amount of research our learners did for presenting potential names to the Parks board,” Renaissance Academy Director Brian Allred said. “They took this project seriously and felt connected to it because it was related to their community. Having the ability to meet with guest speakers and review historical information was the foundation for the group coming together to determine what names should be presented. I continue to be amazed at what our young people can do if we just give them the opportunity.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, Renaissance Academy learners presented three possible name choices to the Clarksville Parks and Recreation board and staff. Following a unanimous vote, Gateway Park was selected as the name.
Renaissance Academy is part of the national New Technology Network educational model and is in its second year of educating learners. The NTN educational model uses project-based learning, an active curriculum that challenges learners to explore real-world problems in order to obtain deeper knowledge of the studied subjects.