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NWF Launches New Inclusive Nature Curriculum

  • Subject: [cg] NWF Launches New Inclusive Nature Curriculum
  • From: "Stacy Carr" <CARRS@nwf.org>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 14:31:36 -0500
  • Content-Disposition: inline

NWF Launches New Inclusive Nature Curriculum

	Children, with and without disabilities, can now all make a personal connection to the natural world, thanks to Access Nature*, NWF's new inclusive nature curriculum.  The universal design fits any audience, formal or non-formal.  The adaptations that follow each of the 45 hands-on activities provide educators the tools to engage participants with hearing, learning/cognitive, motor and visual disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities. 
	To date, the activities have been tested with over 1,100 participants, including youth and teens with and without disabilities and, in some cases, their family members.  Test sites included camps, nature centers, after-school programs, and traditional classrooms.  Pilot testing will continue through December 2001.
 	"It has been wonderful to see the youth and teens engaged in this program learn about the natural world while having a great time," said Bethe Almeras, inclusion specialist for NWF and the project manager.  "All students, regardless of their ability level, are given the opportunity to observe, explore and connect with nature."  
	The curriculum design of Access Nature is progressive - beginning with a holistic overview of habitat, moving onto specific components of wildlife habitat, and then exploring the ethics related to human impact.  The design uses inquiry-based learning and fun, hands-on activities to allow participants to progress from developing basic habitat knowledge to gaining a sense of environmental responsibility, empowerment and action through a conservation project. Youth engaged in these activities come to understand how they can personally make a difference in protecting the wildlife and the wild places they love.
	"Access Nature is the best, most user-friendly curriculum I have ever worked with.  Kids are not just learning, they are experiencing!" said Mary Wolf, director of Project Success.
	The cost for the inclusive Access Nature curriculum is $39.95 for over 60 hours of habitat-based activities.  Other special features include: alignment with the National Science Education Standards, general disability-related teaching guidelines, a fully developed action project complete with accessibility guidelines, and a disability-related resource section.  To order a copy of Access Nature call (716) 461-3092.  Access Nature is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and was developed with the assistance of Easter Seals Virginia.
	The nation's largest member-supported conservation advocacy and education group, the National Wildlife Federation unites people from all walks of life to protect nature, wildlife and the world we all share.  The Federation has educated and inspired families to uphold America's conservation tradition since 1936.

Stacy L. Carr
Schoolyard Habitats Program Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston,  VA  20190-5362


Email:  carrs@nwf.org


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