Teachers in Lawrence County have an aid in environmental education this year.
PRIDE Environmental Education Liaison Paul Flowers finds hands-on activities that complement teachers’ lesson plans on environmental topics, such as plants and the water cycle. He visits classrooms to lead the special activities and to discuss how the lessons apply to the environment of southern and eastern Kentucky. He also encourages students to find ways to care for the environment, such as volunteering to pick up litter or turning off lights when they leave a room.
From September 2012 to December 2012, Flowers spent 45 hours in local classrooms, instructing a total of 996 students. He will continue working with students throughout the school year.
When Flowers was the liaison for the 2011/2012 school year, he worked with a total of 1,892 students.
Flowers, who is a retired teacher, has been the liaison since February 2011, thanks to a partnership between the Lawrence County Fiscal Court and the nonprofit organization Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc.
PRIDE offers liaisons to all schools in its 42-county service area through its PRIDE Environmental Education Outreach Program. Local partners, such as county and city governments, enroll their schools in the program and pay an annual fee, which is based on student population.
The program goals are to help students prepare for state science tests and develop life-long environmental stewardship skills. Liaisons work primarily with third, fourth and fifth-grade classes, but they also work with all grade levels involved in PRIDE Clubs, which explore environmental issues and perform community service. They tailor lessons to the local environment based on PRIDE’s success with promoting environmental education in the region since 1997.