skip to Main Content

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.

Rose Britton teaching bird class
Rose Britton teaching Audubon in the Schools curriculum

Audubon in the Schools Update

The core group of Audubon in the Schools (AITS ) volunteers had a virtual meeting in January 2021 to discuss how we might interact with schools and students in 2021. This program depends on in-classroom interactions with bird feathers and specimens that the students use as models for their drawing exercises.

Red-breasted nuthatch drawingWe discussed the possibility of doing virtual presentations, but students working from home may not have the paper and colored pencils they need. Our group decided to draft a letter to teachers who have used the AITS program, and let them know we are waiting for the time when in-classroom sessions could be presented. As with many activities, we must wait for the vaccinations to proceed and the in-class learning options to improve. And we will certainly be ready when that time comes!

Many thanks to Barb Pope, Janet Barnes, Rose Britton, Marty Merrill, and Rosie Hammond for being at the meeting. Sue Markley and Kathy Wilson could not attend, but agreed to help when we get rolling again. Even though our AITS Program stopped school visits mid-March 2020, we had a number of successful classroom visits prior to that date.

Blue jay drawing

AITS 2020 Educational Report Numbers
Winter/Spring 2020         Totals
Number of Students        528
Classroom Hours              17.75
Schools visited                  5
Presentations                    22

Good Job AITS Team for doing this important work!

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.

bird drawing
Audubon in the Schools

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.