Eighteen teachers participated in a winter adaptation and interaction workshop offered by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Understanding for Teachers (CPW OUT) program on Saturday, Jan. 27. Hands-on winter animal adaptation activities were offered at The Nature Connection hub in Hotchkiss and at Crawford Lake State Park. One of the highlights of this training was ice fishing with CPW personnel. Ice fishing materials can be checked out by the public free of charge at Crawford State Park.
CPW OUT classes are geared to giving teachers the skills to take their kids on field trips using curriculum related hands-on activities and site-based outdoor education. These one-day classes are offered four times a year in our area by the Southwest CPW education coordinator, Cathrine Brons. Anita Evans and The Nature Connection assist with the coordination of these classes by publicizing these continuing education classes for teachers through the Delta County and Montrose County school districts, and also by housing hands-on curriculum materials for teachers to check out for use with their classes.
Teachers can become CPW OUT "qualified" teachers which allows them the opportunity to apply for 1/2 bus funding for up to three site-based CPW OUT approved field trips. The transportation stipend is a huge plus, as transportation to nature spaces is one of the most costly components of connecting youth to outdoor experiences. Teachers are considered OUT qualified if they have attended at least three CPW OUT classes.
The next CPW OUT classes this year will train teachers about desert habitats, entomology and bears. For more information, contact Cathrine Brons at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anita Evans at email@example.com.