BETSY LAYNE — Students at Betsy Layne Elementary are improving math and science skills while becoming good environmental stewards.
Students participating in the “Community and Coal: Reclaiming our Future” are getting some hands-on science work and helping to improve reclaimed coal property at the same time.
“The long-term goal of this project is for Eastern Kentucky to become a major player in math and science,” says Sheila Hall, the program’s sponsor. “So, I began with my second-grade students at Betsy Layne Elementary. Being an educator, I often ask myself why we can’t be leading the way in these areas, with all the natural resources we are blessed with. The obvious answer is administrators and teachers who are asked to do more with less.”
Hall says in order to do more with less, she formed partnerships with businesses and community members, parents and students.
“I received a grant, funded by CEDAR, secured land to plant the trees, notebooks for a long-term study and water by Elk Horn Coal, the school and Gear Up paid for the buses, Busy Bee provided the port-a-potty, community members and parents became involved, and seventh-grade mentors helped second-grade pot and plant their saplings.”
According to Hall, the program helps students in a real world way, using hands-on learning across the curriculum with goals of: being good stewards of the earth, instilling values of hard work and cooperation, problem solving in math and science, writing, technology, art and career awareness.