Get Outside Alabama Completes First Environmental Education Program With Great Results.
(EMAILWIRE.COM, December 19, 2014 ) Birmingham, AL -- Get Outside Alabama, LLC was started to Get kids outdoors, exploring the environment and out from behind screens, tablets, televisions enjoying more green time and less screen time. Get Outside Alabama (GOAL) finished the first semester of after school activities with fantastic results by cooperating with a large variety of various environmental education organizations in Birmingham, AL. GOAL's founder, Scott McEwen was deeply appreciative of partnering organizations such as: Alabama Wildlife Center, Turkey Creek nature Preserve, Audubon Society, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Southern Environmental Center, Cahaba River Society, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and Dr. Drew Hattaway from Samford University. Scott founded the organization after reading a book by Richard Louv "The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder" and then experiencing the impact of screen time and getting outdoors with his son.
As a result, children at Highlands School were given the option to enroll in the program during the Extended Day program. Parents signed their children up and the students participated in a wide variety of activities with partnering organizations from seeing live birds from the Alabama Wildlife Center and spotting birds outside with the Audubon Society, all the way to holding baby grey rat snakes from Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and touching Madagascar hissing cockroaches from Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. The children were able to explore and develop a greater understanding of nature, ecosystems and the interconnectedness of plants, animals and insects. Other activities consisted of watching red wiggler worms in a vermicomposting bin from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, as well as observing spiders and their webs with Dr. Hattaway from Samford Univeristy. All of the opportunities were filled with lots of ooohs and aaahs by the students as they were able to explore and discover all sorts of insects and plants on weekly hikes on the trail behind the school as well as during classroom presentations. The founder, Scott McEwen commented "It was amazing to see just how excited the kids were in getting to see all of the different animals and critters each and every week. It really was like a whole new world to them."
Having completed the weekly activities over the course of thirteen weeks, the children's attitudes towards various animals and insects improved dramatically. At the beginning of the course, a basic chart was filled out by each student indicating their like, dislike or neutral attitude towards bees, snakes, butterflies, spiders, flies, birds and bats. After completing the course, students were given the same chart again and filled it out once again. There was a marked improvement in attitudes towards all of the creatures listed from the first to the second instance of completing it. The course is scheduled to start back again in January after the Holiday break and run through April with another wide variety of seasonally appropriate topics and more collaboration with partnering organizations.
About Get Outside Alabama, LLC
Get Outside Alabama (GOAL) was founded to encourage the exploration of local outdoor activities through nature education and activities to rediscover kids connection to nature.
Get Outside Alabama, LLC
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