Where am I going and How will I get there!?!?
This summer I accepted a new position as the Humane Education Manager for the Rescue Ranch in Statesville, NC. This ranch is a non-profit organization founded by Ryan and Krissie Newman as a place to educate children. We want children to learn how to care for, treat, and interact with animals. We provide programs for scouts, church groups, preschools, as well as school field trips. I now have the task of coming up with some engaging, hands-on experiences for students who walk through our doors. I will definitely need the help of a PLN to learn about the animals as well as to come up with programs that will stick with our students!
Short Term Goals:
- Learn about the animals we have on the ranch in order to give informational tours and to provide programs that teach students about caring for these animals.
- Learn about the trees, flowers, and other natural items on our 177 acre land (especially the area designated as our walking trail).
- Create educational and fun summer camps for students in grades 1-8.
- Go to the Helen Woodward Animal Center and the Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary to learn what kinds of programs they provide and to get an idea of some programs we could provide at our ranch. Also learn from them where they get their information and how they promote them.
- Partner with the NC Wildlife Federation and receive training to come up with more educational programs using the animals and natural resources available to me.
Long Term Goals:
- Come up with augmented reality videos about each of our animals so parents and their kids can go on a tour of the ranch and learn about each animal.
- Network with homeschool groups, scouts, day cares, and school groups to get the word out about the ranch and how we could offer teachable moments for their students. Learn how to connect with and access these groups more easily.
- Get the word out about the Ranch! Using Facebook, Twitter, News sites, Word of mouth, and any other means. The ranch opened in October 2013 and many people still don't know we exist.
- Have the building full of students daily learning about wildlife and it's importance on our community.
I also have begun to follow many wildlife organizations on Facebook to keep me up to date on the animal world as well as to keep in contact with other programs such as ours. Some of the groups I am following include:
Communities I've joined
Professional - One Community I have joined is the NC Wildlife Federation on Facebook. I have been able to connect with the GoU program director and have even gotten to meet her face to face at the Rescue Ranch. She has helped me go around the site and identify many of the trees and wildlife on our site. She has also given me great ideas of programs and information to use with our summer campers. I will be attending some of their classes this fall to learn more about Project Wild and Growing Up Wild programs. The online community will be a great way for me to stay up to date with wildlife changes in the state.
Personal - I joined the community "Christian Teachers - Leading by faith" on facebook this year. A teacher at my school created this group and it has been a great way to share encouraging stories, prayer requests, and anything else for the good of the community. As a group we have even talked about best ways to complete lesson plans and have shared innovative ideas we are using in our classrooms. It has been a great group to be a part of!