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August 5, 2009

DNR, National Wild Turkey Federation, Natural Resources School team up

Teachers and staff from Rice Creek Elementary in Columbia will be at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) national headquarters in Edgefield, S.C., on Aug. 13 as part of a staff development day to learn more about using natural resources, conservation, the outdoors and community for integrating instruction and curriculum. It is part of the continuing partnership with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the S.C. Department of Education and the "Natural Resource Schools: Educating Outdoors" program.

The goals of Natural Resources Schools is to improve student achievement, increase students’ enthusiasm about school, improve physical fitness through participation in outdoor activities and instill an understanding of the importance of conservation.

"This program gets students outdoors to help them understand the connection between ourselves and natural resources in our world and in our state," said DNR Director John Frampton. "Natural Resource Schools integrate natural resources, outdoor skills and conservation education into all aspects of the classroom."

The day will begin with a tour of the NWTF‘s facilities and Winchester museum. Rice Creek staff will also sit in on a variety of training seminars including: Growing up Wild (for grades K-2), NWTF curriculum and resources, Available DNR Resources and the National Archery in the Schools Program. The day will conclude with the teachers participating in hands-on outdoor activities like paddling and shooting sports.

Currently there are three Natural Resources Schools in South Carolina — Rice Creek, Palmetto Middle School in Williamston and McCracken Junior High School in Spartanburg with the potential to become a choice option for parents and students across the state. Natural Resources Schools' partnership is the first of its kind in the nation as teachers and students combine both their academic standards and the great outdoors. Students, with parent permission, will participate in canoeing/kayaking, shooting sports, fishing, hiking and more.

"The best way to ensure children become lifelong stewards of our natural resources is to nurture an appreciation for nature while they are young," said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. "The NWTF is proud to support bringing conservation education into classrooms through this initiative, which will help ensure we have the future conservationists needed to care for our nation’s natural resources for many generations to come."

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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