SOMERSET — Bell County and Middlesboro students will receive an extra helping of environmental science this spring.
Alma Cardwell, who is the county’s PRIDE Environmental Education Liaison, will visit local classrooms to lead hands-on activities that compliment teachers’ lesson plans on environmental topics. She will cover such topics as recycling, energy, botany and wildlife.
Cardwell is a Kentucky native, having grown up in Russell Springs. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Lindsey Wilson College and her Kentucky and Tennessee teaching certifications through Lincoln Memorial University.
Cardwell was hired recently as the PRIDE liaison through a partnership between the Bell County Fiscal Court, Bell County Schools, Middlesboro Independent Schools, Bell County 109 Board and the nonprofit organization Eastern Kentucky PRIDE Inc.
“Liaisons reinforce the concepts that students will see on state science tests, and they helps students see how those issues are important right here at home by relating them to the environment of southern and eastern Kentucky,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson. “They discuss ways students can take care of the environment, such as picking up litter and unplugging computers when turned off.”
PRIDE offers liaisons to all schools in its 42-county service area through its PRIDE Environmental Education Outreach Program.
Local partners, such as county and city governments, enroll their schools in the program and pay an annual fee, which is based on student population. Twenty-two counties are participating this year.
Program goals are to help students prepare for state science tests and develop life-long environmental stewardship skills. Liaisons work primarily with third, fourth and fifth-grade classes, but they also work with all grade levels involved in PRIDE Clubs, which explore environmental issues and perform community service.
Liaisons tailor lessons to the local environment based on PRIDE’s success with promoting environmental education in the region since 1997, when PRIDE was founded by Congressman Hal Rogers and Kentucky Environmental Protection Secretary James Bickford.
The PRIDE web site is www.kypride.org.