For the Birds! has been inspired by Audubon (New York). For the Birds! is an elementary education programme that teaches environmental awareness and appreciation of nature through the study of birds. Together with a friend of ours, Barbara Vagliano of New York, we are intending to develop and adapt this programme to suit Spain and our trial area here in Ronda. During an 8 or 16-week session, public school students, in grades for ages 8 to 10, learn about their natural environment through classroom lessons, outdoor field trips, a live bird program, and a conservation project designed to provide bird habitat in the local community. For the Birds! is a well-rounded curriculum that is aligned to performance standards in Math, Science and Technology and English Language Arts. For the Birds! focuses on local birds and local habitats. This place-based learning encourages a sense of pride in one’s own community. Gaining knowledge of the local environment empowers students to take an active interest in protecting it. We hope to bring you more news in future newsletters.
We are, together with Spanish Nature, also taking this programme into schools based in the Sahara region of Morocco. The scheme in Morocco is very much more involved and also sees us partaking in the publication of a small field guide covering 50 typical and local species of birds seen in the area of the schools. We are also organising appeals to help provide secondhand binoculars, telescopes and donations of pencil sets, crayons, writing pads and even bicycles! The provision of old or used bicycles can mean the difference between some children receiving an education or not. Many young children, particularly those belonging to nomadic families, live too far from schools to be able to walk the long distances involved from home to school, bicycles will enable these children to attend.
Note: A very important aspect of our education programme is the provision of new or used binoculars. If you are buying a new pair please consider donating your old ones to our programme. We are also assisting some local wildlife guides who are desperate for used telescopes so if you are buying a new scope, please do consider donating your old one.
Any quantity of good quality children’s clothing, notebooks, drawing books, pen sets, crayons and pencils (plus sharpeners) are all welcome. If you would like to make a donation (even money helps) please contact us for details.