Arkansas schools can now add semester-length programs focused on outdoor recreation that qualify for a physical education credit.
The Outdoor Adventures curriculum developed by Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation has been taught in more than 600 schools in 37 states, meeting all requirements to be used as a co-ed physical education course, a local elective or an agricultural science wildlife management course.
The program differs from the many educator resources currently available from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by including a rounded list of lesson plans and curriculum to support a full semester of outdoor education.
“We have hunter education and boater education in many schools, as well as our Arkansas national archery in the schools and Arkansas youth shooting sports as after-school activities for students to engage with us,” said Hollie Sanders, assistant chief of education for Game and Fish. “But we just can’t devote the staff time to be available at all of the schools in the state for a full semester at a time. This partnership bridges that gap.”
In addition to conservation concepts, the curriculum offered in Outdoor Adventures includes activities such as fishing, archery, camping, wilderness survival, outdoor cooking, fly-tying and paddlesports. More than 34 units are available for teachers to choose from to mold the program to fit their students and community.
Game and Fish even has a way to offset the cost of implementing the program through its conservation education grants.
“The program costs $1,000 for the curriculum, but the school will receive a matching amount of $1,000 for the supplies needed for classes,” Sanders said. “In the future, that first $1,000 may be eligible for conservation education grants collected from fine money, so it’s possible to start the program with zero cost to the school. Schools that already have equipment from other Game and Fish programs may be able to work from that end, using that equipment as the match for the curriculum cost.
Visit www.agfc.com/en/education or call 501-223-6300 to learn more about education programs offered by Game and Fish.