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AUDUBON - NIÑOS Y NATURALEZA PROGRAM

If we are to restore and maintain balance between the impact of people on the environment and the well-being of all species, human and wildlife alike, we must restore and nurture the connection between people and nature. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of citizens, gained through education, will be the most compelling and most successful strategy for addressing our environmental challenges.

Audubon's Niños y Naturaleza program increases appreciation of and commitment to wildlife and environmental conservation by delivering nature programs to children in ways that deepen their connection with the natural world. Through indoor and outdoor classroom activities, field trips, and learning through school gardens and community service, students discover that we all have a personal stake in the health of the environment and that individual activities and people working together can make a difference in preserving and improving our world, locally and globally.

Niños y Naturaleza also engages parents, schools, and the greater community in learning and service activities to encourage long-term community stewardship of the natural elements and resources of San Miguel de Allende.




HOW THIS PROGRAM HELPS CHILDREN SECURE A FULFILLING FUTURE
There is a growing disconnect occurring between people and the natural world on a world-wide basis. We see evidence of this here in San Miguel due to cultural norms, increased urbanization and degraded urban habitats, and the tendency of technology to replace outdoor activities.

In San Miguel, as in many places in Mexico, we face serious environmental threats, including a diminishing supply of potable water from our aquifer, fragmented and degraded waterways and habitats, air pollution, and desertification. We recognize that are inheriting these significant challenges and they need help with developing the knowledge, skills and values that will be required of them to optimistically and confidently face the challenges ahead.

Research shows that environmental education helps children make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, societal and environmental health, and personal well being and develops critical thinking and basic life skills.

There has also been positive correlations established between environmental education and student achievement in science, reading, math, and social studies.

Environmental education will also prepare children for future employment in the fields of science, natural resource management, development and planning, and meet the workforce needs of business as it strives to adapt to more sustainable practices.


THE PROGRAM

During the 2018/2019 school year, Audubon will provide 300+ children with unique opportunities to connect with and experience nature in fun and meaningful ways that allow them to learn about natural science; build leadership and problemsolving skills; develop a world-view that recognizes the intrinsic connections between people and nature; and experience the values and rewards associated with environmental stewardship. While centered
on children, this program extends to parents, siblings, community volunteers, businesses and
government by providing many opportunities for involvement.

Our experience in leading Ninos y Naturaleza for the past four years has allowed us to witness the positive impact of this program on children's lives as we strive for the following objectives and outcomes.


OBJECTIVES:
1. Help children form bonds with nature, learn about the environment, and experience the positive rewards of environmentally-friendly values and behaviors.

2. Engage varied interests and learning aptitudes, through methodologies that are fun and interactive, and allow each child to feel that they have a contribution to make.

3. Take the classroom into the outdoors as much as possible.

4. Emphasize teamwork and a sense of a community.

5. Green local school settings with gardens, litter-free environment, outdoor classroom settings,
Audubon corners in the classroom, and nature art.

6. Create visible and meaningful community environmental service events that encourage public participation, centered around children, such as improving bird and wildlife habitat, recycling, water conservation, bird counts, etc., that can be measured and applauded.

7. Provide incentives and rewards for participation and continued participation.

8. Organize learning experiences that build upon one another as they move from 1st through 6th grade, and relate to the real-world.

9. Offer opportunities for older children to get involved in leadership positions, and encourage
participant youth to become future leaders through training and support.



OUTCOMES AND MEASUREMENTS FOR CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY

  • Increased understanding of nature and natural resources
  • Increased empathetic connections with nature, stewardship, and quality of life for all living things
  • Increased environmental stewardship experience through service activities
  • Improved habitat and increased resource conservation
  • Increased opportunity for scientific and aesthetic inquiry into ecology/environmental studies, leading to interest and capability in pursuing careers in environmental conservation or related fields
  • Increased cooperation and respect between students
  • Improved grades and/or engagement with regular classroom studies and activities
  • Improved ability to articulate thoughts and emotions through writing an art

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San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
México, 37700