Evidence points to the fact that children gain their most powerful understanding of their natural environment through exploring it for themselves. However, within formal education, educators are often hampered from facilitating this exploration beyond the classroom by the pressures of the curriculum, health and safety concerns, and restricted budgets. LE/AD, with help from a grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation and its fundholders and Polk County Parks and Natural Resources is bridging the gap on this issue by offering a program to youth groups in Polk County. This program will consist of:
1. A field trip to Circle B Bar Reserve, where the children will participate in many outdoor hands-on activities including dip-netting, hiking and bandana rubbing.
2. Participants in the afterschool program will have the opportunity to enter into a poster contest to describe what they learned during the sessions. The contest will be judged by members of the LE/AD Board of Directors and the top three selections will be awarded prizes.
The GiveWell Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity serving Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties in Central Florida. The Community Foundation holds more than 300 charitable funds established by individuals, families, organizations, and private foundations and serves a wide variety of charitable services.
For more than 20 years, the GiveWell Community Foundation and its fundholders have been investing in the future of our communities through impactful, philanthropic giving.
LE/AD will provide programs to community partners with limited budgets in Polk County. This program would consist of minimum of 10 groups participating in:
- An interactive, hands-on learning experience field trip, where the children will participate in many outdoor activities including dip-netting, hiking and bandana rubbing. They will learn each phase of the water cycle and the importance of water conservation. An on-site hands-on learning experience with the watershed model that shows how fertilizers, pesticides, oil and erosion affect our watersheds. Staff from Polk’s Nature Discovery Center will assist LE/AD with supervision and implementation of this program.
For their Field Studies visit, each group will take a pre and post test. Follow up will be provided with additional materials sent back to camp locations, and a poster competition will be an elective.
LE/AD would like to thank the Southwest Florida Water Management District for providing educational materials for children participating in this program.