Two new grants will bring all 375 Norwich third-graders to Connecticut Audubon for outdoor science education
August 21, 2018 – Every third grader in Norwich Public Schools will get the benefits of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s award-winning outdoor science education program in the 2018-19 school year, thanks to grants from two eastern Connecticut foundations.
All 375 third-grade students and their teachers will participate in Connecticut Audubon’s full-day, hands-on Science in Nature classes. The program is funded by a generous $11,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and a $5,000 grant from Nordson Corporation Foundation.
The program will start with three days of professional development training titled “Taking the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) Outdoors” for all third grade teachers, developed by Connecticut Audubon Society’s director of education, Michelle Eckman, and taught by the organization’s NGSS specialist Marge Porter.
The program is scheduled to start in October. The third-grade school students will travel to Connecticut Audubon’s Center at Pomfret throughout the fall and spring to participate in outdoors, curriculum-based science instruction on bird ecology. In honor of the national 2018 “Year of the Bird,” which celebrates the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Connecticut Audubon Society will bring in Horizon Wings, a wildlife rehabilitation organization in Ashford to offer each school a live raptor presentation as an exciting culminating event.
The participating schools are Moriarty Magnet, Samuel Huntington, Veteran’s Memorial, Thomas W. Mahan, John Stanton, Uncas Network, and Wequonnoc Magnet schools.
“Science in Nature has consistently changed children’s attitudes and appreciation of nature, and we’re confident that that’s the first step toward wanting to be a good conservationist,” said Sarah Heminway, director of the Center at Pomfret. “We’ve seen it with kids from cities and rural districts throughout our region, and the students from Norwich will get the same benefit.”
Connecticut Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats. Connecticut Audubon Society established Science in Nature in 2012 to help introduce Connecticut students to basic concepts in outdoor conservation science. It is based on current state and national science standards. More than 70,000 students from across the state have participated at Connecticut Audubon Society’s centers and at their schools.
The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut grant was funded through the Peter Grayson Letz Fund for Animals and the Firsbie-Chapman Memorial Fund. The Foundation brings people together to work towards a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut. For more information, visit www.cfect.org
Nordson Corporation Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our communities by improving educational outcomes that enable individuals to become self-sufficient, active participants in the community. With a facility in Connecticut, Connecticut Audubon is pleased to be a recipient of their first grant cycle awarded in the state. For more information, visit www.nordson.com