Prince Edward Island Project Webfoot 2018
Project Webfoot (PW) is a national wetland education program designed to increase awareness of and appreciation for wetlands among youth. Using direct curriculum links, this program targets fourth grade students to intervene early in development with messaging that encourages sustainability and environmentally conscious decision making. PW provides youth with the foundation for understanding how Islanders can protect wetland biodiversity by engagement with educational resources and hands-on field trips to a local wetland. The primary goals for PW in PEI for the 2017-18 school year included:
1) Register 25 classes (approximately 625 students) to participate in Project Webfoot. 2) Provide participating classes with a quality wetland field trips and educational resources. 3) Continue to partner with the Island Nature Trust to deliver the wetland field trips. Provide support for them with the field trip delivery. 4) Ensure wetland field trip sites are safe, and accessible for students. 5) Share wetland education initiatives through media posts. 6) Provide feedback forms to each participating class to monitor the effectiveness of the program. The aim to have an 80% return rate on the surveys and to achieve a 90% satisfaction rate with the educational resources and the field trip. 7) Encourage Project Webfoot classes to become involved in environmental action projects at their schools and in their local communities.
In the 2017-18 school year, PW was delivered to six PEI communities involving 20 classes equaling 446 students through partnership with the Island Nature Trust. Financial resources were used to provide:
1) The wetland education resource kits 2) A guided field trip delivered by staff of the Island Nature Trust 3) A bussing subsidy of up to $100 per class to offset travel costs. Providing this opportunity to teachers and students at minimal costs improves accessibility, and facilitates greater registration in the program to gain maximum impact.
Project Webfoot encourages youth to take stewardship of local ecosystems and associated wildlife through experiential learning. The longevity of this program demonstrates its efficacy in achieving education goals, leading it to become an expected and appreciated program by teachers across Atlantic Canada.