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Audubon Society offers Nature Explorer Teacher Kits

By Staff | Feb 13, 2009

From left to right, Suzi Taylor and Shepherdstown Library Children’s Librarian Michelle Baluch with an insect kit at the Shepherdstown Library.

Last year, the Potomac Valley Audubon Society developed a series of Nature Explorer Backpacks designed to help children explore the natural world on their own.

Available through local libraries, the backpacks contain a variety of books, field guides, supplies and activity ideas.

This year, the Society has expanded on this concept by developing a set of Nature Explorer Teacher Kits that are intended for use by instructors at schools, libraries and youth organizations.

In addition to resource books, literature, instructional DVDs, and field guides, the kits contain materials and supplies for an entire classroom of children.

So far, two kinds of kits are available: one that focuses on birds and another that focuses on insects.

The bird kid includes twelve pairs of small binoculars and several field guides. The insect kit includes twelve small insect nets, bug viewers, and other resources.

The kits are geared primarily for children of elementary school age, but some of the resources would be useful for older children as well.

The kits are housed at the Shepherdstown Public Library and are available not only locally but throughout West Virginia through interlibrary loan.

The development of last year’s backpacks and the new teacher kits has been funded by grants from the Nora Roberts Foundation.

Both projects have been designed and executed by Suzi Taylor, of Sharpsburg, Md., a veteran PVAS camp director who has a degree in environmental education.

Instructors who would like more information about the contents and uses of the kits should contact Ms. Taylor at 1 (301) 432-1908 or tomandsuzi506@cs.com.

For information about the kits’ availability, contact the Shepherdstown Library’s Children’s Librarian, Michelle Baluch, at 876-2783.

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization, and a member of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Combined Federal Campaign.