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Federal grant to help school's outdoor program

by Western News
| November 22, 2009 11:00 PM

Libby Public Schools in a partnership with the Kootenai National Forest has been awarded one of 17 national grants.

The “More Kids in the Woods Challenge Cost-Share” projects are designed to help rural and urban children connect to the land in a hands-on, interactive way.

Through the grant, the partners plan to expand Libby Schools’ existing Outdoor Education Program.

More than 197 groups vied for the awards. The Forest Service sought proposals focused on recreation and environmental stewardship, solid, broad-based partnerships, and innovative techniques.

Educator Barb Jungst said Libby’s expanded Outdoor Education Program will reach almost 430 students in middle school and eight high school students. The activities will include 19 full-day outdoor and four overnight adventures.

Jungst said the desired results include forming stronger, sustained connections for kids with nature; providing kids with environmental literacy, conservation education, stewardship skills; promoting healthy physical activity and nutrition for participants; honoring Kootenai tribal history in the area; and preventing future student drop-outs.

The high school students will serve as positive role models and leaders for the younger children, she added. And all children in LMS will have some sort of “nature connection” experience.