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Missouri Ecological Services Partners with Lee Expressive Arts School for Environmental Education
Midwest Region, April 23, 2007
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Field Supervisor Charlie Scott and Administrative Officer Becky Clearwater receive ceramic model of the SEEDS logo.  The models were made by Lee School fifth grade class at Partner in Education assembly, on April 23. 
- Photo by Michelle Baumstark, Columbia Public Schools.
Field Supervisor Charlie Scott and Administrative Officer Becky Clearwater receive ceramic model of the SEEDS logo.  The models were made by Lee School fifth grade class at Partner in Education assembly, on April 23.

- Photo by Michelle Baumstark, Columbia Public Schools.

- Photo Credit: n/a
Missouri Ecological Services staff were invited to attend the Partner in Education assembly to receive recognition for SEEDS environmental education program. 
- Photo by Michelle Baumstark, Columbia Public Schools.
Missouri Ecological Services staff were invited to attend the Partner in Education assembly to receive recognition for SEEDS environmental education program.

- Photo by Michelle Baumstark, Columbia Public Schools.

- Photo Credit: n/a
Topeka shiner aquarium in Lee School media center, donated by Missouri Ecological Services. 
- FWS photo by Rick Hansen
Topeka shiner aquarium in Lee School media center, donated by Missouri Ecological Services.

- FWS photo by Rick Hansen

- Photo Credit: n/a

Lee Expressive Arts School students have a new group of biology-crazed big brothers and sisters at Missouri Ecological Services in Columbia, Missouri.

 

At the April 23rd assembly, Lee Expressive Arts School Principal Teresa VanDover crossed the T's and dotted the I's to officially name Missouri Ecological Services as the elementary school’s Partner in Education.

 

Missouri Ecological Services, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field office, took interest in Lee Expressive Arts School because of its unique approach to learning. “Our curriculum is founded on arts integration, which means lessons are taught using visual art, music, drama, dance and literature as learning tools,” explains Principal VanDover.

 

To celebrate the new partnership, Missouri Ecological Services launched its first environmental education outreach program at Lee Expressive Arts School, titled SEEDS - Students, the Environment, and Endangered Species. 

 

Students had the chance to interact with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists to learn about their local environment and the endangered species of Boone County, including the Indiana and gray bats, the Topeka shiner and pallid sturgeon, as well as birds of prey. To show their appreciation of the SEEDS program, the fifth grade class drafted and signed a declaration to protect the environment and built a ceramic model of the SEEDS logo.

 

In addition to launching the SEEDS program, Missouri Ecological Services also donated a 110 gallon aquarium filled with native Missouri fish species to the Lee Expressive Arts School media center. The family of fish includes the endangered Topeka shiner, as well as other native fish found in Missouri’s waterways.

 

Looking at the fish tank in the media center is a highlight of every student and teacher's day at Lee,” said an enthusiastic Dr. Ann Mehr, art teacher at the elementary school. Sitting in the hub of the school’s media center, the aquarium draws a crowd of curious onlookers every class period.  Katie Canepa, the school’s media center specialist, said she continues to field questions about the aquarium from eager students every time a class visits her end of the hallway.

 

As part of its new role as a Partner in Education, Missouri Ecological Services will continue to work with Lee Expressive Arts School to emphasize the importance of environmental education in ensuring the future of many endangered species like the Topeka shiner. “It is highly unlikely any of these students will see a Topeka shiner in its natural habitat, so by bringing the shiners to the students, we hope to peak their interest in the conservation of its species and others that are facing extinction,” said Charlie Scott, Field Supervisor of Missouri Ecological Services, “We want to let the school know that our commitment is long-term, and our concern for environmental awareness is permanent.”

 

Missouri Ecological Services looks forward to its partnership with Lee Expressive Arts School, and hopes this commitment is a step towards a healthy environmental outlook for the local community.

 


Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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