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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


TO LOCAL EDITORS: SEE ATTACHED SCHEDULES FOR PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES IN YOUR COVERAGE AREA

For Release:

June 22, 2000

Media Contact:

DEM - Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
URI - Kay Dodge 277-5230

DEM, URI URBAN FIELD CENTER HOST ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMER PROGRAM FOR CITY YOUTH

PROVIDENCE - More than 70 elementary school students from Providence and Pawtucket will be taking daily environmental field trips throughout Rhode Island during the next two weeks. For many students, it will be the first time they have seen the ocean, visited a farm, or hiked through a forest.

Staff from the Department of Environmental Management are among those who will help students from the Project Discovery summer institute explore their natural surroundings. Students will discover the secrets of a salt pond, view the life stages of fish at a fish hatchery, have a fishing lesson with Christine Dudley of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and explore tidal pools. Paul Dolan of the Division of Forest Environment will be the tour guide for an educational walk in the forest. Students will learn about dairy and produce farming on visits to two farms with Ron Newman of the Division of Agriculture, and learn about the Narragansett Indians and explore a butterfly garden at DEM's Prudence Island research reserve.

The Project Discovery summer institute is run by the University of Rhode Island's Urban Field Center in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Management, with financial support from The John Clarke Trust and the Providence and Pawtucket school systems. Now in its fifth year as a collaborative project, the 14-year-old institute is designed to motivate the students to study math and science and to see themselves as college material. The overall goal is to show that science and math are important in the everyday world, and to introduce the students to people who work in interesting fields where those subjects are necessary.

"We thoroughly enjoy our annual participation in this unique educational program," said DEM Director Jan Reitsma. "Our staff finds great reward in exploring the treasures of the natural world with young people, and helping them discover new talents within themselves and opportunities for their future."

"Students learn from first hand experience that environmental science is relevant to their lives. They learn the role they must play in keeping the environment - both on land and sea - clean and safe for all Rhode Islanders," said Kay Dodge, Deputy Director of the Urban Field Center. "They become 'teachers' to their family members and friends by sharing the knowledge they have acquired."

"They learn about careers in these fields and that college is a must," Dodge continued. "We encourage the students to prepare for college by taking math and science for all four years of high school. Best of all, they see how science relates to their everyday life. They have a great time and learn at the same time."

The Pawtucket students involved in the program are entering fifth and sixth grades at the Cunningham and Baldwin Elementary Schools. The Providence students, all entering fifth and sixth grade, attend Broad Street, Mary Fogarty, Sackett Street, and Reservoir Avenue Schools. The two-week concurrent camps are each headed by a teacher, with bilingual support staffs. This year's camp dates are June 26 through July 7.

NOTE TO EDITORS: TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR PHOTO OPS, PLEASE CALL KAY DODGE AT 277-5230.

Students from Project Discovery will be on environmental field trips to the following areas on the following dates. For details, see specific schedules attached:

Monday, June 26

Exeter, Richmond, Stonington

Tuesday, June 27

Prudence Island, Jerusalem

Wednesday, June 28

Richmond, Exeter, Prudence Island

Thursday, June 29

Arcadia,Glocester

Friday, June 30

Glocester, North Kingstown

Monday, July 3

Jamestown, Mystic

Tuesday, July 4

Holiday, no sessions

Wednesday, July 5

Jerusalem, South Dartmouth

Thursday, July 6

Arcadia, Mystic

Friday, July 7

Providence, Charlestown

Providence Schedule

Pawtucket Schedule


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