New local species guide for school curriculum

There is a new local species guide for children in kindergarten and up in Golden.

The project was spearheaded by local kindergarten teacher Sandra Beckett and was started about one year ago, when she received a grant from Columbia Basin Trust, as well as the School District. Then the Golden Rod and Gun Club also gave all proceeds from a movie screening to the project. Beckett had previously seen another nature guidebook on the island that was geared to kindergarten children and wanted something similar, but local to the area of Golden. She then got together with Jane Powell who wrote the guide. Powell is a writer and owner of Thought Doodles Writing Services as well as an environmental educator. Nick Laferriere was later brought on as the illustrator. Laferriere is a self-taught, award winning artist and is an avid outdoorsman who also lives in Golden.

The books will mainly be used in the schools, when teachers take their classes outside. There is a plastic overcoat so the books are durable and can be wiped clean.

There is a web page that is linked to School district resource centre site. “The idea is this is a start…we’re hoping to be able to post more things on there, like if we add pages or if we get new information,” explained Beckett.

The books can also be purchased by the public at the Alexander Park Elementary School office. The cost of $25 is only to cover the printing costs through DJ’s, where it was printed, The actual content has all been paid for by grants, so it is also available online for free so anyone can access it. “The original concept was that the pages would have some big print and some little print, but then Jane had so much information, so the little kids read more of the pictures…the idea is that it is good for a range of ages,” said Beckett.

She hopes this book will get used by the public and by educators alike.

The school district has bought 50 copies so it will be available in Kimberley and Windermere. There are also four copies at the Golden Library.

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