Au Sable Launches New Adopt-a-Class Program with Grant from United Way
Oct 03, 2013
The Au Sable Environmental Education Program has received a grant from United Way of Northwest Michigan to provide support for classrooms at low-income schools to attend Au Sable environmental education programs.
The grant comes as part of a new Au Sable initiative, the Adopt-a-Class program. Adopt-a-Class allows local businesses, community organizations, and individuals to support environmental education in their communities by contributing funds so local schools can attend Au Sable’s Environmental Learning Center for a full-day, environmental program.
“We are excited to kick off our Adopt-a-Class program through this grant from United Way because it perfectly captures our hopes for this new program,” says Environmental Education Program Coordinator Paul Wiemerslage, “United Way is about creating healthy communities, and we believe that to do that every student needs, and deserves, access to an environmental education. It’s our hope that the Adopt-a-Class program will leverage community support to make that a reality.”
The Adopt-a-Class program works on two fronts. In addition to Au Sable actively seeking donations and applying for grants, local school teachers are given the tools to approach local businesses, community organizations, and individuals to get pledges for their classroom to attend Au Sable for hands-on field trips to learn about the natural world.
Says Wiemerslage, “We want the Adopt-a-Class program to be a rallying point for our surrounding communities to embrace and encourage environmental education in their schools. Students form deep attachments to the natural world through memorable experiences in nature at a young age, and those experiences can impact them for the rest of their life. We strive for Au Sable programs to create those types of experiences, give them foundational knowledge about the natural world, and help them be better citizens in their local communities throughout their lives.”