Teaching The Teachers About 'Trout In The Classroom'
Teaching The Teachers About âTrout In The Classroomâ
By Kendra Bobowick
Environmentalists are tempting teachers to figure out what to do with âTrout in the Classroom.â
A new initiative supported by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) draws attention to a Trout Unlimited (TU) environmental awareness program.
Department Commissioner Gina McCarthy will address schoolteachers of all grade levels on February 17 during âAll Connecticut Trout Unlimited Dayâ (ACTUD) at 9 am at Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
âThe things we do are fleeting if we donât teach todayâs children to protect resources,â said local Trout Unlimited Candlewood Valley chapter President James Belden as he began to explain the upcoming programâs importance.
âWe feel youth education is a critical piece of our mission,â he said, speaking about TUâs initiatives both locally and nationally. The mission regards restoring, protecting, and conserving cold-water fish and their watersheds, Mr Belden said. âItâs [important] to teach them the value of things and it benefits generations to come â weâre investing in our future,â he said. Aside from students are the instructors trusted to implement the lessons.
âThis takes care and initiative from our teachers,â he said.
âAll Connecticut Trout Unlimited Dayâ will offer the opportunity for TU members to share conservation experience and know-how with each other and the public.
The morning session of ACTUD will conclude with a workshop for teachers regarding âTrout in the Classroom,â Trout Unlimitedâs flagship youth outreach program.
Ready with the details of âTrout in the Classroom,â Mr Belden explained, âItâs an educational program connecting the students with clean water and the organisms that need clean water to live.â In the fall the students receive trout eggs, which they care for until the fish become fingerlings, which they release in the spring.
Water temperatures, feeding, and chemical levels all factor into the fish eggsâ survival. Depending on the age group, various lessons can revolve around the fish, Mr Belden explained. âThis connects them to keeping these little organisms alive,â he said.
This year, Reed Intermediate School received a tank, and he hopes to start a second program at St Rose School next year.
What might teachers and students want to know about Newtownâs trout habitat and climate?
âWe have a big job,â Mr Belden said. âThe good news is that we have wonderful natural resources. With the good news comes the bad, however.
âOur [natural resources] are in dire need of protection, more so every day.â
âTrout in the Classroomâ has been well received by the stateâs teachers and educatorsâ participation has increased from one classroom during the 2005-2006 school year to 22 classrooms in 2006-07.
Trout Unlimited is a national environmental protection organization with a mission to conserve, protect, and restore North Americaâs trout and salmon fisheries and watersheds.
The conference is free and lunch is included. Interested guests may RSVP by mailing email@example.com. Visit the website, www.cttrout.org for further information, schedules, directions, and parking information, or call Bill Blaufuss, chairman of Trout Unlimited, Connecticut at 856-2004.