Reimagining North Country outdoor education during COVID-19

ABC50 NOW

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Outdoor education. Typically, a method that involved field trips, class activates and interactive tasks for children. 

However, as the coronavirus has forced education systems into remote, hybrid and online learning models, this seemed to be a topic of the past. 

Local grassroot organization Save the River, previously took North Country classrooms on the water, discussed invasive species and focused on the health of local waterways. 

Save the River only took the switch to online learning as an exciting challenge to reimagine their education program; naming their involvement in schools “Reimagining Education.”

Program Coordinator at Save the River Lauren Eggleston spoke to the challenges COVID-19 has brought on, and what the organization is launching.

“We are trying to update and get it so that kids can still do things outside,” said Eggleston. “So one of the things that we are doing is we are updating our website. On the website we have virtual field trips and story times.”

According to Eggleston, within Save the River’s new features are resources, activities and lesson plans aligned to New York State standards.

These resources for North Country teachers were developed by staff and committees at Save the River.

Education Committee Chair Heather White has played an integral role in the development of this new program.

“I recall last March when we all went online, in my profession, I was supporting teacher that to come up with online activities,” stated White. “Now lets connect to Save the River. If you’re a teacher working in this area now, you can visit Save the River’s website, find a standard you know you need to work on, and a field trip or storytime that will support that learning.”

As educators, both Eggleston and White voiced their passion for the nature in the North Country and teaching these values within the classroom; regardless of remote or hybrid learning.

Eggleston stated that Save the River’s new resources are set to go live next week.

Watch the full interview with Save the River’s Lauren Eggleston and Heather White above.

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