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Nature curricula available to teachers through Missouri Department of Conservation

A black bear
Brigitte Werner
A black bear

Workshops on the curricula are planned for this month.

Workshops on nature curricula for Missouri teachers offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation will be held this month.

The first training on August 10 will be for kindergarten teachers. Lyle Whitaker, conservation education coordinator for MDC said it will focus on the Discover Nature Kindergarten curriculum called "Bears through the Seasons." The Discover Nature First Grade on August 11 will focus on "Exploring Missouri," which teaches kids about the state's ecosystems.

Teachers will get the curriculum and a teaching aids tub with supplies to deliver lessons in the classroom. Teachers who use MDC's curricula can apply for up to $3500 in grants for field trips to natural areas.

Whitaker said a lot of children don't have the chance to get outdoors, but it's important that they do so. He pointed to research cited in the book "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv.

"Basically, it makes the realization that nature-based learning like our "Discover Nature Kindergarten" and "Discover Nature First Grade" curriculum restores children's attention, it helps relieve stress in children's lives. Getting them outside in nature-versed learning helps them develop self discipline," he said.

To sign up for the workshops, visit, go to Discover Nature and Teacher Portal.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.