Teachers learn to use rain gardens as teaching tools

City of Fort Wayne Seal

News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Teachers Learn to Use Rain Gardens as Teaching Tools
Saturday Workshop Opens New “Green Room” at CORE

Mayor Tom Henry is giving area teachers the opportunity to learn how they can use rain gardens at their schools to teach about everything from science and math to language arts. Five educational modules have been developed by the City with input from a panel of teachers. These modules will form the basis of the teacher training. The City, in cooperation with Curriculum Opportunities and Resources for Educators (CORE), is offering three workshops for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers who would like to use City-developed rain garden education modules in their classrooms. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, February 26 from 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM at CORE, 1726 St. Joe River Drive.

“This is a great opportunity for the City to partner with our schools to teach children the importance of protecting our water resources,” said Mayor Henry. “Rain gardens are a great way to soak in and clean-up rain water runoff. There are many lessons students can learn by observing and working in a rain garden. The City wants to provide teachers with tools to help them take advantage of teaching moments offered by rain gardens.”

Download the Rain Garden CORE flyer.

Click the above image to download the flyer.

Three “train the teacher” workshops are being offered by Fort Wayne in cooperation with CORE – Curriculum Opportunities and Resources for Teachers. CORE is a non-profit organization that accepts donations of unwanted materials from businesses and makes them available to all types of educators at a low cost. It is located near the intersection of North Anthony Boulevard and St. Joe River Drive next door to ProFed.

CORE’s mission involves providing workshops for teachers as CORE co-founder Julie Williams explains: “We are very thankful to our leading sponsor, ProFed, for providing the space for CORE members to work on projects utilizing our space and equipment for free, as a benefit to their membership. CORE is also inviting members and the community to attend workshops and professional development activities. We encourage other businesses to take the City’s lead and host workshops for all types of educators in our newly opened Green Room.”

Fort Wayne is installing 20 demonstration rain gardens around the community as part of its agreement with the federal government to reduce combined sewage going into the rivers. Eight gardens have been installed – most of them at area schools. Seven more gardens on school campuses will be installed this year.

Each educational module has a focus topic such as “The Growing Process” or “Polluted Runoff” and different activities within the modules are geared toward different grade levels. Although designed with activities that can be done outside in a rain garden, the modules can be adapted for use inside the classroom if an actual rain garden is not available. The modules are correlated with Indiana science standards and teachers who attend a workshop may earn 2.5 Professional Growth Points toward license renewal or accreditation. The workshops are free, but pre-registration is required by calling City Utilities at 427-2683.

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