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The Campbellsville Child Development Center won the region's PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award for introducing students to camping.
Twenty students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade, along with parents and staff, pitched tents in Miller Park on June 28. Before rain drove them back to the center, they ate outside, played games and caught bugs. They even learned to paint with dirt, thanks to an activity led by the Taylor County Soil Conservation District. They rounded out their experience back at the center by reading bug books and turning soda bottles into bird feeders.
The center staged the daytime campout for the members of its God's World PRIDE Club in celebration of the National Wildlife Federation's Great American Backyard Campout. The NWF sponsors the annual one-day event to encourage American families, youth and individuals to discover the fun of the great outdoors by camping in their backyards.
"I'm sure this experience made a lasting impression on the students," said Tammie Wilson, PRIDE vice president and chief operating officer. "I began camping when I was young, and now it's something my son and I enjoy together. It's important to make the effort to plan outdoor activities like this because so many children's activities are inside these days. I commend the Campbellsville Child Development Center for its creativity, and I encourage families, youth groups, schools and others to follow this great example."
The center used funds from its 2007-2008 PRIDE Environmental Education Grant to purchase the bird-feeder attachments for the pop bottles. That $2,680 grant also paid for enhancements to the center's outdoor classroom and educational materials, such as books and multimedia resources.
For the upcoming school year, the center received a $1,915 PRIDE grant to make more improvements to its outdoor classroom. An additional $300 is available to fund the center's PRIDE Club, which gives students opportunities to learn about the environment in fun ways, mentor younger students and perform community service.
Eastern Kentucky PRIDE is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month program rewards creative, effective ways of showing students why and how to care for the environment.
For more information about PRIDE, visit www.kypride.org or call the PRIDE office, toll free, at (888) 577-4339.