Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Randolph County Outdoor Education Program

For the last 5 years or so, The Mountain Institute has been involved in the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program (RCOEP). RCOEP was founded by community members in and around the town of Elkins, WV. The beauty of this education program stems from its community involvement.

RCOEP provides fifth grade students in Randolph County Schools with a three-day residency grounded in the county's rich natural environment and cultural heritage. Based on the idea that some of the best teaching and learning experiences grow out of a sense of place, the program draws on the resources of over two dozen agencies and organizations working throughout Randolph County.

The program was designed to increase children's awareness of local habitats, heritage, and environment, and addresses a variety of local issues while exploring different solutions.
Students who participate in the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program explore local waterways, forests, history, culture, and resource management practices. They collect data from their watershed, discuss local issues from diverse viewpoints, and participate in activities that celebrate regional arts, crafts, and music. Throughout the three-day residency, each student will keep a journal of his/her own experiences. Through this exercise, students who participate in the Outdoor Education Program will gain a greater understanding of their local landscape and its vital role in their lives.

During the program the students will:
* Attend sessions that introduces them to local wetlands, streams, public and private forested areas, and farmlands;
* Hear firsthand the music and stories of the surrounding communities, and discuss the connection between human and natural landscape;
* Experience and discuss different approaches to decision making and look at issues from different perspectives;
* Reflect on their values and develop critical thinking skills
* Meet professional from different occupations, who may serve as role models when they choose a career.

If you would to support the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program, please contact Nathan Hayes at nhayes@mountain.org or 304-567-2632.


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Anonymous said...

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