OLE! Texas is an initiative of the Texas Department of State Health Services in partnership with other state agencies, universities, and organizations across Texas. For more information and a full partner listing, visit dshs.texas.gov/ole.
The Mission and Purpose of OLE! Texas
Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE!) Texas is a statewide initiative that promotes healthful, nature-based outdoor spaces at early childcare and education (ECE) programs. A healthful outdoor environment helps preschool children be more physically active while they play, discover, and connect with nature. Texas Tech University faculty and graduate students are working throughout the state to provide designer training, conduct design workshops for childcare centers, and research a variety of behavioral responses to OLEs.
Funding has been provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the Texas Tech University Graduate School.
The OLE! Texas work at Texas Tech University is part of the Texas Tech Coalition for Natural Learning (CNL). The CNL team views their work with these programs as a springboard to a much broader approach to natural learning paradigms in which a multidisciplinary team works to improve educational and recreational opportunities using natural methods and approaches. The Coalition also collaborates with the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) and the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) program in Colorado.