Outdoor Classrooms?

Outdoor Adventures Prepare Children for the Future


Campaign encourages South African teachers to take classes outside on Thursday, 12 October

Teachers across South Africa are called to take at least one lesson outdoors on Thursday, 12 October 2017 as part of the global Outdoor Classroom Day campaign.

The campaign is a response to the decline in the time that children spend outdoors. Research has found that 2 in 3 children globally play outside for less than an hour and a half a day* – In 2016, almost half a million children around the world got involved by having their lessons outside and celebrating playtime too.

Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater understanding of nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.

South Africa is not alone in its drive to reconnect children with the outdoors. Thousands of schools across the world are taking part in this campaign. To date, 2 019 270 children around the globe are getting involved! Over 4,000 children in South Africa have already been registered to take part in 2017. With the help of teachers across the country the campaigners hope to dramatically grow that number in the run up to 12 October.

Getting outdoors to play and learn isn’t just ‘nice to have’, but is critical for children’s development.

The campaign is led globally by social enterprise Project Dirt. Nick Gardner, CEO and co-founder said:

‘We’re calling on teachers, parents and anyone who cares about childhood to get involved in the campaign on Thursday, 12 October. Whether that’s by taking a class outdoors, encouraging your child’s school to sign up, or helping spread the message far and wide, everyone can do something to make sure children across the country experience the benefits of playing and learning outdoors.’

There are lots of resources available to support people to take action at: www.outdoorclassroomday.com. Get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day and help make sure children across the country have happy childhoods and are well prepared for the future.

Outdoor Classroom Day is run in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement.

* Research conducted by Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.

 For further information or to arrange an media interview, please contact:

Gaole Bogatsu

Edelman South Africa

011 504 4000

073 368 1959


 Notes to editors

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. It was started by Anna Portch in the UK in 2012 and has grown from a handful of schools getting involved to over 16,000 so far this year. The campaign is led globally by social enterprise Project Dirt, in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. The partners support local NGOs and Dirt is Good teams to deliver the campaign in countries around the world.

About Project Dirt

Project Dirt aims to resource thousands of grassroots community projects, and to capture and share the stories of those achievements. Its online platform enables successful relationships to be formed between the business and community sectors. Project Dirt’s mission is to create a vibrant and active online community where individuals, communities, companies and local authorities can share knowledge, advice, best practice and access resources.

About Dirt is Good

Dirt is Good (DiG) is the campaign supported by Unilever’s leading detergent brand including OMO, Persil, Skip and Via, sold in over 78 markets. Taken together, the Dirt is Good brands are the fourth-most consumed brands in the world. The Dirt is Good brands have a unique philosophy in the laundry category. We believe that Dirt is Good: that children need plenty of exploratory, hands-on play – the kind where they can go out and get dirty– because it is essential for their learning and healthy development. In partnership with parents, educators, and other leading child development experts, we are committed to investigating the best ways to help children play, explore and get dirty every day so that they can learn and develop to their full potential.

The Dirt is Good Advisory Board is a group of experts and expert organizations advising the Dirt is Good programme. The Board includes Sir Ken Robinson, Dr Stuart Brown and representatives from Project Dirt.