The San Antonio Zoo’s Will Smith Zoo School, one of the largest nature-based preschools in the country, has been recognized as a leader in education for its innovative curriculum.
Will Smith Zoo School has been given the 2019 Educational Award of Excellence from the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) for “outstanding achievement and innovation in education program design and implementation," according to a news release.
“It is critical to encourage our next generation of conservationists to explore their love of nature and appreciate wildlife so that they will continue to harness a love for nature as they grow into adulthood," said San Antonio Zoo’s President and CEO Tim Morrow. "We are leading the way for nature-based education around the world and I am proud of how much this program has grown.”
Students at the school spend more than half of the day outside exploring the zoo and learning about plants and animals in “wild classrooms.”
In June 2019 the Will Smith Zoo School was awarded the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, one of the only preschools in the world with the award. The only other preschool with this certification is in Greece, according to the press release.
“San Antonio Zoo’s new Will Smith Zoo School is raising the bar when it comes to educating children,” ZAA Executive Director John Seyjagat said.