In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation and Lafayette Elementary School are working together to foster environmental stewardship and raise awareness of local birds among urban students and their families. They’re hoping to accomplish this by encouraging community members to pursue outdoor activities and providing students in the school’s extended day program a natural history component to enhance literacy through science.
To show that science is fun and all around them, third- through fifth-graders in the Lafayette Elementary School’s science-based literacy enhancement extended day program and their families will participate in a Celebrate Urban Birds event organized by Lancaster County Park naturalists and Lafayette Elementary teachers on March 31 and April 1!
Participants will receive identification hints for focal species, including some familiar species like American Robins, Mourning Doves, and American Crows, as well as the less frequently observed Black-crowned Night Herons and Baltimore Orioles. A bird bingo game with suet block prizes will reinforce the bird identifications. Everyone will then proceed outside for ten minutes of bird observation.
Students will write about the day in their journals, but also use a set of oil pastels to create a work of art depicting their birding experience. Both Lafayette Elementary and Lancaster County Parks will host exhibitions of this student artwork. Look for photos of the event, including the student creations, in the next several weeks!