SOMERSET, KY — Magoffin County students are being served an extra helping of environmental science.
Derrick Howard, who is the county’s PRIDE Environmental Education Liaison, visits local classrooms to lead hands-on activities that complement teachers’ lesson plans on environmental topics. So far this year, Howard has covered the topics of personal responsibility for the environment, recycling, wildlife and water quality.
By February, Howard had spent 75 hours in local classrooms, instructing a total of 460 students. He will continue working with students throughout the school year.
Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and real estate from Morehead State University.
His services as PRIDE liaison are made possible through a partnership between the Magoffin County Fiscal Court 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.
The 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.