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October 23, 2008

Oct. 28 Natural Resource Schools Open House set in Williamston

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the S.C. Department of Education and Palmetto Middle School in Williamston invite the public to the first ever Natural Resource Schools: Educating Outdoors Open House from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Palmetto Middle.

Palmetto Middle School has agreed to become the first Natural Resource School in the state. The school will serve as a model for integrating natural resources, conservation, outdoors education and related community service projects into student instruction and curriculum.

For more information contact S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marketing Director Monica Linnenbrink at (803) 734-3625 or via e-mail at LinnenbrinkM@dnr.sc.gov. Palmetto Middle School, Anderson District 1, is located at 803 N. Hamilton St. in Williamston.

"Thirty percent of children nationwide are overweight, and a contributing factor is the decreasing amount of time kids spend playing in nature," said DNR Director John Frampton. "Natural Resource Schools integrate natural resources, outdoor skills and conservation education into all aspects of the classroom to improve student achievement and knowledge about the importance of natural resources and conservation."

"I congratulate Palmetto Middle for being chosen as South Carolina’s first Natural Resource School," said State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. "This pilot program is a unique way to get out kids outdoors for a variety of activities and to help them understand the connection between human beings and natural resources in our world, and in our state."

The Natural Resource Schools: Educating Outdoors Open House will feature demonstrations and exhibits that include nature photography, archery and crossbow, shooting simulators, hunting and boating safety, hiking and outdoor survival skills, kayaking, law enforcement, fishing, climate information and much more. Parents can volunteer to become trained program instructors to assist teachers as students explore both their academic standards and the great outdoors. After the Open House, based on student and parent input, a program and activity menu will be determined and offered to students beginning in January 2009.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people.

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