During the past year, Asbury Woods educators traveled throughout Erie County to bring hands-on experiences that use nature, the environment and outdoor exploration as powerful and meaningful ways to connect kids to nature while delivering standards-based content outlined in school curriculums.
These outreach visits were entirely made possible due to $31,500 of donations received from companies through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program.
Asbury Woods is an approved educational improvement organization, able to accept corporate donations which are eligible for up to 90% tax credit through the EITC program.
“At Asbury Woods, EITC donations are a powerful way for us to extend our reach to students who might not have an opportunity to visit Asbury Woods through a school field trip or with their families and friends,” says Jennifer Farrar, Executive Director.
More than 2,600 students in Pre-K through 8th grades participated in Asbury Woods outreach visits to their classrooms. These visits by Asbury Woods educators extend the science and ecology instruction delivered in the classroom by using the natural world to apply STEM lessons.
“Asbury Woods programs use the local environment as a powerful way to explore STEM concepts, coupled with hands-on learning experiences as a complement to the school’s standards-based curriculum,” says Kelley Lang, Education and Public Programs Director. “These environmentally based STEM lessons, a curriculum approach called E-STEM, help bring alive the textbook content, making it more tangible and relevant for students and provoke students to think deeply about the world and their connection to it.”
“We had such a fantastic experience for our third graders at Grover Cleveland,” says Laurie Swenson, Third Grade Teacher at Grover Cleveland Elementary School. “Bringing Asbury Woods into the classroom to explore the wonders of nature through a crime scene investigations was a hit!"
Students from Swenson’s third grade class had comments to share about the program. "I enjoyed solving the mystery. To see all the pictures and tracks, it was like I was really there," Larissa, student.
"The best part was solving the case of who did it; that was awesome and cool!" Aubrey, student.
"Thank you for the incredible mystery. I was amazed with it. My favorite part of exhibit B and C. I liked the foot prints," Cameron, student.
To learn more about how to donate through the EITC program, please visit www.asburywoods.org/donate/eit...
ABOUT ASBURY WOODS
The mission of Asbury Woods is to provide all members of the community with meaningful environmental, educational and recreational experiences that inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship.
Asbury Woods achieves this mission through a diverse array of educational, environmental and recreational programming for schools, community groups, families and individuals of all ages. In addition, they manage and maintain 205 acres of preserved property which includes native species, old-growth forests, landscaped gardens, wetlands, boardwalk trails and dirt trails.
The Nature Center at Asbury Woods is the cornerstone of the educational programming, providing animal exhibits, a touch-and-learn Discovery Classroom and free public access six days per week. The Brown’s Farm Barn located on Sterrettania Road provides additional programming space for summer camps, school visits and community programs. The Greenway Trail at Asbury Woods consists of adjacent tracts of land which provides a network of trails connecting Browns Farm and the Nature Center. The Greenway Trail provides ample recreational opportunities for hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing and wading in Walnut Creek. Trail users will find peaceful spots to rest and relax to take in the serene vistas.
Asbury Woods is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is made possible by funding from program and service fees, grants, special events and generous donations from members and patrons. Annually, Asbury Woods positively impacts more than 100,000 people who use the trails, attend festivals or participate education and community outreach programs.