Students of North Port’s Glenallen Elementary School piloted the Scrub Jay Program in 2015 as participants in a Scrub-jay workshop created and led by Audubon’s Youth Education Coordinator, Linda Soderquist. The fifth grade program was designed to align with Venice Audubon’s mission: “To promote an understanding of and interest in wildlife and the environment that supports it and to foster the cause of conservation with emphasis on birds and their habitats” and to support the students’ Science and Language Arts curriculum standards.
The program includes two school instructional sessions about Scrub Jays, scrub habitat, and binoculars. The culminating activity is a field trip to Shamrock Park in Venice where students have time to see the plants and animals of the scrub habitat and practice using binoculars while bird-watching. They are engaged in activities in the Nature Center where they learn facts about the local wildlife and habitats, as well as specifics on bird-banding, and view a video about Scrub Jays.
As students learned about the endemic Florida Scrub Jay and its environment, they began to understand what can be done to protect and conserve this locally vanishing habitat. It is hoped that through this experience, the students will become more sensitive to conservation issues and will appreciate the importance of stewardship.
Honored by Audubon Florida with the Best Chapter Education Award in 2016, Venice Audubon is looking to expand this program to other schools in South Sarasota County.
How can you help?
Volunteer – School field trips to the Rookery Park involve observation stations and a nature walk that utilize adult volunteers in addition to school personnel. Annual training is required for all field trip volunteers. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in volunteering for our education programs or for more information.
Donate – Venice Area Audubon Society’s Education Fund is a dedicated financial resource used exclusively for our youth education programs to purchase education materials and supplies, grant financial assistance for field trip bus transportation to the Audubon Rookery and Shamrock Park particularly for Title 1 schools, and provide stipends for Venice Area Audubon instructors. Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. Opportunities to fund a field trip bus or classroom instruction are available.
Spread the word – Help us get the word out about our youth education programs. Refer family, friends, and professional organizations to the information on our website. For more details, please contact us at email@example.com.