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Schools Grow Connection with Nature

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announced it will provide over $62,000 for 25 BC schools-3 of which are in the Cariboo to participate in its Wild School program.

Calvin Dubray, Principal at Marie Sharpe Elementary in Williams Lake, says the school is looking forward to beginning the program next fall, especially since it will coincide with the start of their new Nature Kindergarten program.

“We’re just fortunate enough that our application was accepted and it will coincide nicely with our Nature Kindergarten program that’s going to be starting up in September so that there’s that succession planning for grades 1 to 6 as well so that when kids come out of nature kindergarten they’re continuing on learning outside with a placed based environment.

Also accepted into the Wild School Program is 100 Mile House Elementary and Horsefly Elementary.

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The 3-year program which provides teachers and students of K-8 schools with free resources, training and support for environmental learning, outdoor field experiences and connections to conservation work in their communities.

HCTF Education Manager Kerrie Mortin says the Wild School program evolved from their experiences delivering Science in Action, and is supported by current research about the effectiveness of whole-school program models.

“One of the key elements of the Wild School program is professional development. The shift from a one-day workshop model to providing multiple years of professional development opportunities – including workshops, mentoring, networking and support- has been shown to be more effective in helping teachers build capacity and transform their teaching and learning, leading to better outcomes for students.”

Science in Action began the transition to the Wild School program in 2012.

The Wild Schools and Science in Action programs have helped 3500 BC teachers in 267 schools provide hands-on environmental learning experiences to over 72,000 students over the past nine years.

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