project leader
Alana D
Beacon Street
(Squirrel Hill)
latest update rss
In-person family donation update!

the project

La Escuelita Arcoiris needs help to refresh its Outdoor Classroom! 

La Escuelita is Pittsburgh's only nature-based, Spanish immersion preschool. A key component of our curriculum is outdoor play and exploration. In fact, we are outside everyday! Our students learn in our outdoor classroom, located just outside our building, where students have the opportunity to run, jump, create, explore and investigate. Rain, snow, or shine, playing outdoors allows children to learn about nature and fosters a connection to their environment and their community in a variety of sensory and hands-on methods. Beyond motor skills, children are able to express themselves freely and interact socially.  Studies show this is imperative for children’s health, immune systems, and positive mood. Not to mention, it helps develop critical thinking, creativity and imagination. 

Over the last several years we were not able to use our outdoor classroom space due to safety issues with the roof of the building we rent from. The roof is now fixed and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and recover this space for our community. The upgrade and addition of interactive outdoor space, including interactive gardens, plants and trees, tools, toys, sand, sun shades and functional aspects of the garden such as fencing and storage for La Escuelita students will ensure that our staff can implement our curriculum and philosophies on a daily basis.  We believe outdoor exploration is imperative for early childhood development.

the steps

We plan to break ground on our Jardín updates April 15th. We have staff and volunteers excited to help us build raised garden beds and bring them to life, design new structures for students to play in, and to create bamboo screens to replicate nature and divide the space safely. To start, we plan to update some of our older wooden spaces and our fences with new boards and fresh stain. After the structures are in place, we plan to grade our play area with sand, mulch, and river rock to showcase different terrains. We will be reintroducing a mud kitchen to our curriculum and we are excited to get cooking with the kitchen tools on our wishlist. After 3 weeks we plan to be ready to plant! We will be adding a couple trees, perennial and annual flowers, vegetables and herbs. Sun shades will be installed to control sun exposure. This will provide us with sheltered space for students to investigate nature and nurture their plants. 

why we're doing it

La Escuelita has been in operation since 1999 and our La Escuelita Community is growing up in our very own Pittsburgh neighborhoods! We pride ourselves in teaching our preschoolers about the joys of growing their own food and the importance of caring for our environment, respecting other cultures and leading with curiosity and through scientific investigation. Our philosophy paired with these skills, instilled at an early age, creates a lasting social and environmental impact for generations to come.


Trees and planting (Private Donation!): $0

Construction materials to build a safe, creative space: $11,622.60

Mud kitchen and raised garden beds: $3449.00

Waterproof sun shades: $776.00

Gardening tool and STEM toys for nature exploration: $839.60

(Total donations received in-person! : $1,000)

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)

Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised by this campaign.



In-person family donation update!

Grandparents Frances and Charlie Stewart share, "Dear La Escuelita, Thank you for helping our little ones to grow inside and outside by keeping nature alive in them. A gift for your growing garden." Their donation nearly doubles our current total, getting us ever closer to our goal! Thank you so much for both your hands-on volunteering, Stewarts, and for this generous contribution to early childhood education. We appreciate your support!

Our First Donation! Trees!!

We are excited to share that La Escuelita's first donation will cover 3 beautiful Dogwood Trees and their planting! This generous donation will bring beauty to our space in every season. Students will be able to play under their canopies on sunny days! Thank you so much to Gloriann Snyder, Raj, Julie and Marko Aneja. In memory of Krishna Aneja.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Nicole Havranek
  • Lori S.
  • Sabrina L.
  • John I.
  • Michelle & Gregg
  • Rafael Z.
  • Noni
  • Eric G Hulsey
  • Ian Lipsky