Missouri Department of Conservation hosts conservation classes for teachers

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is kicking off its summer conservation workshops for teachers Tuesday morning.

The free workshops are aimed at giving teachers in Boone and surrounding counties the opportunity to gain the certification and skills needed to teach specific conservation curriculum in classrooms, home schools, and youth group settings.

Kim Cole, an Education Consultant for the Missouri Department of Conservation said the program, known as the Discover Nature School Program, will have sessions for Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, and will run through the end of June.

"We offer curriculum units starting at preschool going all the way up through the high school grades. So if kids are in school there is a curriculum unit that's aimed at the grade level they are learning at," Cole said. 

The first session will go over curriculum for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, and each workshop that follows will focus on different grade levels.

The workshops will run from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. and will host five to 15 teachers a session.

According to Cole, one of the main focus points of the workshops is helping teachers figure out ways to incorporate being outside into their lesson plans.

"Teachers are super super busy, and we definitely sympathize with that. So we are here to help. Anything that we can do to kind of get them comfortable outside or take some of that burden away from them, I think just getting kids outside is the big thing," Cole said. "Letting them be exposed to nature."
When it comes to how Boone County schools compare to other counties in Missouri in conservation lessons, Boone stacks up quite well, Cole said.
"I think they are about right on par with most of the other schools," she said.
All lesson materials will be provided at the workshops.