While wrapping up the 2020-2021 school year, Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County School Educator, Allison Andersen, will soon be scheduling educational visits for fall 2021 and spring 2022.
Elementary and middle school teachers in both public and private schools in Porter County are invited to reserve their 2021-2022 class time with Miss Allison starting May 3. Educators can contact her at the district by calling (219) 707-8278 or emailing aandersen@PorterCountyRecycling.org. Programs are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
Andersen, a former teacher in the Valparaiso Schools, has been with Porter County Recycling for six years and brings district programs to thousands of students to help satisfy its educational mission. The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County offers an array of free programs that meet Indiana State Academic Standards for science and social studies.
The environmental lessons are thought-provoking and interactive, prompting continued inquiry through exploration, logical thinking and discovery.
“We hope our programs complement the schools’ curriculums,” said Miss Allison. “We want to help schools build children’s foundation of environmental knowledge, so they will become good stewards of the Earth.”
According to Andersen, April and May are her busiest months.
“Teachers think spring and Earth Day, so April and May usually book up first,” she noted.
The “Lesson of the Lorax”, a favorite district program requested during Earth Month, reviews the basic needs of plants and animals and the importance of trees, Miss Allison said.
Students in kindergarten through second grades listen to Andersen read the Dr. Seuss story “The Lorax” and act out the story in the form of a play.
“Having a guest educator deliver a program in the classroom not only gives teachers a short break, but adds another dimension and level of interest for the kids,” Andersen said.
Also extremely popular during spring and fall is the program “Lovely Ladybugs,” where kindergarteners, first and second graders learn about the life cycle and body parts of ladybugs, the dangers of pesticides and a safe alternative.
“Each student gets a live ladybug to examine and at the end of the program releases it into nature,” Miss Allison shared.
“Wonderful Worms,” a program popular year-round, also involves live specimens and provides kindergarten through sixth grade students with a lesson in vermicomposting. Miss Allison said the district keeps its own vermicomposting bin at the office and raises red wigglers for the classroom visits.
Eight other programs round out the district’s school offerings for a number of grade levels: “Edible Landfill,” third through eighth grades; “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink,” kindergarten through seventh grades; “Water Watchers,” second through fifth grades; “Dunes in My Backyard,” first through fourth grades; “Pollution Town,” third through fifth grades; “Pollution Tunnel,” kindergarten through second grades; “Renewable Energy,” fourth through seventh grades; and “Garbology”, third through eighth grades.
To accommodate classrooms that are not yet allowing visitors back in their buildings, five of the district’s educational programs are now available through video format: “Wonderful Worms”, “The Lesson of the Lorax”, “Dunes in My Backyard”, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink” and “Water Watchers.”
“We are excited to offer this new opportunity to classroom teachers. Classrooms are still able to enjoy our educational programming while practicing social distancing and adhering to local covid-19 protocols,” Andersen shared.
Teachers can also opt to schedule a live Q & A session through Zoom or Google Meet following video viewing. In addition, a number of our programs are easily converted into a virtual session if that better meets the needs of Porter County teachers. To find out what works best for your classroom, contact Allison Andersen today.
Additional information on these programs is available on the Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction website, www.PorterCountyRecycling.org.
Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.