Annual Education Grants
All donations received by EAS go toward education programs and conservation projects. Each year the EAS board reviews grant applications from other non-profit organizations and individuals and selects recipients that best reflect our mission. Given below are some recent examples of education grants supported by EAS.
Tekoeppel School. Second graders in Mrs. Smith's classes have benefited the last two years from her enthusiasm and passion for introducing her students to nature. With grant money received by EAS, she has been able to take her students on field trips to places like Howell Wetlands, Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, JJ Audubon State Park, and Wild Birds Unlimited to hike and learn about birds and nature from guest speakers. Mrs. Smith has planted a small garden, complete with bird feeders, just outside the classroom in the courtyard so that watching birds is part of their daily routine. Observations students make become part of subjects such as language arts and creative arts as they research about the birds they see and write stories and draw pictures. At the end of the school year, they put on a program to share what they have learned. Examine the photo gallery below to get an appreciation of what these 2nd graders have accomplished.
Arts & Smarts Summer Program. The Arts & Smarts Summer Program, which is part of Patchwork Central, provides children with healthy, creative activities through mentoring relationships with adults. The summer camp, which lasts for five weeks, allows children to become involved in gardening and receive hands-on experience with various art projects that emphasize nature. At the conclusion of the camp, children celebrate their accomplishments by sharing the bounty of the gardens and their art displays with family and friends.
Audubon Ambassador. Storytelling Artist and Scientist, Susan Fowler is our Audubon Ambassador and has represented EAS in numerous programs in schools throughout southern Indiana. Susan's programs are unique in that she involves the audience as props or people in the story she presents. It is a truly interactive experience. In a program called, "Adventures with Audubon", Susan has shared the wonderful history and impact that John James Audubon has had while he lived in our area. This year Susan has put together a program to celebrate Indiana's 200th birthday called "Under the Arms of an Elm". This program was presented in 10 different schools in 5 counties in Indiana.
Audubon Adventures introduces students in Grades 3-6 to nature and wildlife through colorful magazines, online and classroom activities, and interactive games. It is a program developed to be integrated into any curriculum area including science, math, language arts, social studies, and creative arts. EAS has sponsored the use of Audubon Adventures used by third grade students at Holy Redeemer School in Evansville, Indiana and McCormick's Creek Elementary School in Spencer, Indiana.
Merit Badge Program
EAS has initiated a birdwatching merit badge program for the boy scouts and girl scouts in our area. The program is designed to introduce scouts to birds and develop their skills in identification, as well as learning about bird behavior. Scouts also learn about the proper use and care of binoculars. The use of field guides and apps are discussed to help identify birds and learn of their habitats and distribution. We have awarded bird watching merit badges to a troop of brownies at Holy Redeemer School. EAS volunteers also worked with Mesker Park Zoo on introducing our program to a Boy Scout Retreat held at the zoo in the fall of 2016. Requirements for the Girl Scout Merit Badge (for Brownies) and the Boy Scout Merit Badge are given in the pdf documents given below.