Lane County Audubon Society is committed to education about our natural environment. For questions about our Audubon in Schools program, contact us.
Audubon in the Schools started in the spring of 2005, and to date we’ve reached almost 10,000 students. We primarily teach grades 2-5 in the Eugene 4-J and surrounding regional schools.
Audubon in the Schools Update
The core group of Audubon in the Schools (AITS ) volunteers had a virtual meeting in February 2022 to discuss how we might interact with schools and students this year. Our program depends on in-classroom interactions with bird feathers and specimens that the students use as models for their drawing exercises.
The group plans to do two requested Outdoor School sessions in April, and reach out to other Outdoor School groups for other bookings. We also discussed purchasing some small binoculars, easy for kids to use, to help them find bird decoys placed in trees as part of the training.
One teacher from Edison has asked for in-class AITS programs. If this works out, the group is willing to give it a try! Our group decided to draft a letter to other teachers who have used the AITS program, letting them know we are again open to classroom sessions, especially if an outdoor venue is included. It will have been two years since the last in-class sessions.
Many thanks to Barb Pope, Janet Barnes, Rose Britton, Marty Merrill, Kathy Wilson, and Evelyn Rosas for being at the meeting. Sue Markley and Rosie Hammond could not attend, but are still interested in helping when we get rolling again.
Good Job AITS Team for doing this important work!
AITS 2020 Educational Report Numbers
Winter/Spring 2020 Totals
Number of Students 528
Classroom Hours 17.75
Schools visited 5
You don’t need to be an artist to learn the drawing techniques well enough to teach the children. And you don’t need to be a biologist or expert birder to learn the science well enough to teach the children.
Audubon in Schools instructors needed!
Our trained Audubon in the Schools (AITS) instructors combine lessons on bird biology and accurate drawing based on information observed by the students. Critical thinking is involved in both the arts and sciences. Both employ skills of observing, comparing, exploring, trial and error, and problem solving. These skills are common to all disciplines, and we hope children will fine-hone and use them throughout their lives. Our busy schools don’t have time to include art, much less teach art technique. Understanding the concepts of ecosystems is required for the state benchmarks for Grades 3-5. If we can combine two disciplines to satisfy some of the core requirements, it will enhance the learning experience, solidify the information in different ways for students, and perhaps lessen the load for our dedicated and hardworking teachers.
Free Instructor Training Available for New Volunteers
You’ll learn a well-tested curriculum, primarily using four easy-to-teach lessons. Each lesson combines bird biology and art methods in a one-hour session and includes an ecosystem component, aligning the information with the state standards. You’ll be using a nice teaching collection of taxidermy birds, nests, feathers, bones, etc. You’ll learn simple techniques to teach kids to draw accurately in pencil and render colors in colored pencil.
In addition, if you know of a school that may be interested in having an AITS session, let us know. We appreciate all help that allows us to continue to provide this educational contribution to area classrooms.
If you are interested or have questions, please contact us.