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South Shore Foundation Grant Provides Environmental Study Kits for Children

South Shore Foundation funds ecology lessons by Audubon Society
Jodie Jeffrey-Sanders (left), trustee of the South Shore Foundation, and Marg Bangert, vice president of the North Central Arkansas Audubon Society, display items from Audubon environmental study kits, Audubon Adventures. The grant of $1,956 from South Shore Foundation provides kits for students in five Marion and Boone county schools. Audubon Society funding and donations from the public help place the kits in Mountain Home, Norfork, Yellville-Summit and Salem schools as well, said Ms. Bangert.

FLIPPIN, Ark. - The South Shore Foundation has, once again, approved a grant to place environmental study kits - Audubon Adventures - in elementary schools located in the area served by the Foundation - portions of Marion and Boone counties. South Shore Foundation's grant this year is $1,956 to the Audubon Society of North Central Arkansas to purchase kits for 48 classrooms of third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Flippin, Bruno-Pyatt, Bergman, Lead Hill and Omaha schools.

Each kit contains materials for 32 students on four specific topics, a classroom poster, a video and a teacher's guide for additional environmental study activities for the students.

Marg Bangert, vice president of the local chapter of the Audubon Society, said, "We appreciate the grant to be able to put these kits into the schools. It is very important to help children learn about the environment when they are young." 

Speaking for the Foundation, Jeffrey-Sanders said, "Trustees have funded this project every year. We welcome the opportunity to furnish excellent materials like these for area students."

Teachers who have used the materials in previous years have said the materials provide a fun way to take a break from the textbook, are colorful, entertaining, and useful for teaching. A
sixth grade teacher at Bergman created a unit of science study around the materials, including a nature walk that allowed students to view a beaver dam, creeks, and identify trees and plants.

Through the efforts of the local chapter of the Audubon Society, elementary school students throughout the region will receive these kits, which are prepared for teachers and students by the National Audubon Society. Fund-raisers such as the Baxter County Fair booth and a Spring Open House, provide funding to place Audubon Adventures in Baxter and Fulton county schools.

Anyone interested in activities of the North Central Arkansas Audubon Society is invited to join the group which meets the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Highway 5 North, Mountain Home. The chapter also sends students to Arkansas Audubon Ecology Camp each summer near Hot Springs. The stated goal of the parent organization nationally is, "To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity."

South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company of Flippin, which awards grants to nonprofit agencies and communities to further the goals of educational advancement, environmental preservation, community betterment and economic development. NATCO President Steven G. Sanders also chairs the board of trustees of the foundation. For more information or to receive a grant application, call 870-453-3333.

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