Help local students learning to protect nature


Some 3rd-graders from Visitacion Valley Elementary in San Francisco recently took a trip to Golden Gate Park.

Most of the children are newly-arrived immigrants whose parents lack the resources to bring them to the park.

"A lot of them economically, they don't have too much money. Some don't even have cars. So many of my students have never been here before," said teacher Richie Wong.

The kids went to the park to gain the type of environmental knowledge they can't get in the classroom.

The program is put on by San Francisco Nature Education, a group that uses parks to teach children from underserved communities about birds.

"And we use birds as an entry point into learning about nature and conservation, and believe me it works," said Nancy DeStefanis with San Francisco Nature Education.

Traditionally the students will take a second field trip to witness birds nesting, and a third trip to a bird-calling contest. In addition, twice a year a naturalist visits their classroom to help supplement their learning.

The trip to the park is just the first part of the year-long program which these 3rd-graders may not be able to complete without some financial assistance.

The program costs $985.

Visitacion Valley Elementary teacher Richie Wong is counting on for help. At this website teachers can post their class projects on-line, hoping to get funded by donors.

The hope is that by learning about nature these students will help protect it later on in life.

There are many of teachers looking for ways to help their students. If you can help, please check out

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