“Students feel a connection to the environment through their exploration and understanding of how these experiences are shared. I love that I am learning alongside my students through participation in this program. As a teacher this keeps me very motivated. It has been valuable to me to see how this hands on, real-world learning provides a deeper understanding for students and enables them to use their multiple intelengences.”
“At a time when the public relationship with Mexico is framed in terms of division and exclusion, a project that focuses on building collaborative relationships between conservation professionals from both countries is particularly meaningful.”
-Allison Hensey, Director of the Willamette River Initiative.
“A powerful moment came when I received an email informing me that not only did Lincoln PTA commit $2000 to the teacher visit to Mexico, but the Corvallis Schools Foundation had figured out a way to give $1000 to the trip teacher exchange, and Lincoln School was able to allocate an additional $1000 to the teachers’ trip from a professional development pool of funds. That, in addition to the $1000 from BSWCD, funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, and other donations received from partner organizations, is allowing all four teachers who applied to actually go on the trip! The community buy-in and support of this project does something good in my heart. It gives me hope.”
-Heath Keirstead, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District
“As a native Spanish-speaker I love having the opportunity to use my language and culture in conjunction with my background in education and ecology. This project is a combination of everything that I think is important. It has been very special to see how excited kids are to have us in the classroom, they call us the “bird experts” and the teachers tell us how much they look forward to us coming. I also hearing how much the kids have learned, for example they are very good at saying “Black-throated Gray Warbler!” or “Chipe Negrogris!” which is kind of a mouthful! I also thought it was really special to see how many birds we share with Mexico!”
-Dionne Mejia, Institute for Applied Ecology
“My main reason for participating is the commitment I have to the projects in the Laja Basin with the vision of expanding the borders of collaboration in this case with Willamette groups.”