Game Commission offers Project WILD programs for educators

Harrisburg — The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced a
series of upcoming professional development opportunities offered
as part of the agency’s Project WILD program. Classroom teachers,
early childhood teachers, informal educators, homeschooler leaders
and Scout and youth group leaders are welcome to participate in
these workshops.

Project WILD is an award-winning, international, hands-on
conservation education program. It focuses on wildlife and the
environment and how humans interrelate with both. WILD provides
educators, primarily kindergarten through 12th grade, with
interdisciplinary activities that help address state and national
education standards and help educators comply with mandates of the
No Child Left Behind Act. WILD’s materials are scientifically sound
and use educational practices proven to be effective.

WILD’s mission is to provide wildlife-based conservation
education that fosters responsible action. WILD’s goal is to
develop the awareness, skills, knowledge and commitment that are
necessary for people to make informed decisions and act
constructively and responsibly toward wildlife and the
environment.

Theresa Alberici coordinates the program in Pennsylvania through
the Game Commission’s Bureau of Information and Education. She
works closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as well
as prominent conservation and environmental education organizations
throughout the state and the country. Her dedication to wildlife
and environmental awareness, along with her talents in creating
curricula and ability to work with educators have earned her
recognition from the state Department of Education and
Pennsylvania’s conservation education community.

“Educators leave Project WILD workshops with a renewed
appreciation of wildlife and are excited about how they’re going to
share what they’ve learned with their students,” Alberici said.
“This year, wildlife agencies nationwide celebrated one million
educators ‘Gone WILD.’ More than one million educators have been
trained in the program since Project WILD originated in 1983.

“Project WILD isn’t about teaching kids what to think about
wildlife; it’s about teaching kids how to think about wildlife and
giving them the skills they need to become responsibly active
citizens who recognize the importance of wildlife and the
environment. The milestone of training one million educators means
that, through Project WILD, more than 53 million people worldwide
have experience in thinking responsibly about natural resources.
Last year alone, state wildlife agencies ordered more than 65,000
guides for distribution to educators across the country, reaching
1.8 million students with information on wildlife
conservation.”

Following is a listing of one-day educator trainings scheduled
for the coming months:

MARCH

WILD about Peregrines!: Join the Game Commission, Department of
Environmental Protection and ZOOAmerica for a free workshop from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 25, at the Rachel Carson State Office
Building in downtown Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Workshop
participants will explore the successes of peregrine falcon
reintroduction in Pennsylvania; examine falcon specifics and
endangered species concepts; and observe falcons in Harrisburg.
Participating teachers are eligible for 5.0 Act 48 credit hours.
Lunch will be brown bag, or participants can visit a concession in
the building. Deadline to apply is March 18. Contact: DEP
Environmental Education and Information Center, 717-772-1644
(phone) or adevine@state.pa.us.

APRIL

WILD about Endangered Species: Join educators from the Game
Commission and ZOOAmerica from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 8,
at HersheyPark ZOOAmerica, Hershey, Dauphin County. Workshop
participants will examine the concepts and issues surrounding
threatened and endangered species; investigate how and why species
become threatened or endangered; examine laws affecting these
species; and explore methods biologists are using in species
reintroduction. The fee is $25, and will include lunch, a snack and
all materials. Deadline to apply is April 1. Contact: Elaine Gruin,
ZOOAmerica, 717-534-3831 (phone) or egruin@hersheypa.com.

Growing UP WILD!: Join the Game Commission and the Monroe County
Environmental Education Center on from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April
15, at Monroe County EE Center in WHERE, for the newest Project
WILD program, which is focused on those pre-Kindergarten youth ages
three to seven. The cost is $40 and includes materials and a snack.
Workshop attendees will participate in this hands-on, environmental
professional development opportunity that correlates to
Pennsylvania State Education Standards, Head Start Domains and
NAEYC Standards. Participants also are eligible for Act 48 hours.
Deadline to apply is WHAT. Contact: Monroe County EE Center at
570-629-3061 (phone), monroecd@ptd.net or visit their
website at www.mcconservation.org.

PA Biodiversity!: Join the Game Commission and Dauphin County
Wildwood Park from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 21, to explore the
vast array of wild plants, animals and ecosystems at the Olewine
Nature Center in Wildwood Park, Susquehanna Township, Dauphin
County. Through the use of resource materials and hands-on
activities, session participants will investigate the concepts of
biodiversity, explore Pennsylvania’s biodiversity and examine local
and global issues relating to biodiversity in a format designed for
teachers of middle and high school level. However, background
information is valuable for teachers of all grade levels.
Participating teachers will receive the “Pennsylvania Supplement to
Windows on the Wild” and “Windows on the Wild by World Wildlife
Fund.” The session will feature both indoor and outdoor activities
and includes a field exploration. The activities used in this
session are correlated with the Environment and Ecology Standards,
and may be used to fulfill Act 48 hours. The cost to attend is $10.
The deadline to apply is April 15. Contact: Olewine Nature Center
at 717-221-0292.

MAY

School Yard Habitats/ Forest Ecology: Join the Game Commission
and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Jacobsburg
Environmental Education Center from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 7,
at the Jacobsburg EE Center in Wind Gap, north of Allentown, to
gain a better understanding of the ecological roles that native
plants and forested systems play in the habitat needs of wildlife
populations. In addition to a hands-on interactive study of an
established native plant garden, participants also will visit a
series of evolving forests ranging from early successional to old
growth. The free workshop will provide educators with books and
materials addressing society’s growing disconnect from nature, as
well as other materials that promote insightful understanding of
current environmental issues. Participants will need to bring their
own lunch. Deadline to apply is April 30. Contact: Bill Sweeney at
Jacobsburg EE Center, 610-746-2808 or wisweeney@state.pa.us

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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