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Errick Road Elementary program is for the birds

by jmaloni

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Fri, Oct 11th 2013 08:15 pm
At left, Brian Manth participates in the Bird Beak Buffet. Shown right, Elanna Lysiak and Karina Hutchings identify birds on a recent bird watching expedition.
At left, Brian Manth participates in the Bird Beak Buffet. Shown right, Elanna Lysiak and Karina Hutchings identify birds on a recent bird watching expedition.

Thanks to a unique program run by the Audubon Society, the fourth-grade classes at Errick Road Elementary School are increasing their environmental awareness.

"For the Birds" is an elementary educational program that teaches science through the appreciation of nature through the study of birds. During the eight-week session, students learn about the natural world through classroom lessons, a live bird program, and a project designed to enhance bird habitat in the community.

Fourth-grade teacher Brooke Harris said the classes have enjoyed participating in the program for the past several years and the students have learned a lot from the experience.

"This year we were nervous we would not be able to participate because the Audubon Society no longer offered it for free. We were very fortunate that our parent group BEN offered to cover the costs so our students could still have this amazing opportunity," she said.

Harris said the program is very important to students since it is aligned with national and state standards and gives them hands-on opportunities to learn about life science.

"The team from Audubon comes in and leads the lessons and encourages the students to take pride in their community and empowers them to take a more active role in protecting it," she said.

In a recent session, students participated in a "Bird Beak Buffet," where they learned how the shape of a bird's beak is an adaptation made specifically to help it survive in its environment. After the presentation of various beaks, students matched the structure with the function at several "feeding" stations. Other projects have included bird-watching expeditions.

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