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Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015

Unfortunately, the U.S. is an urban-based society. Ninety percent of the OA schools are in urban schools or small cities. Only a small percentage of these schools offer Ag. Science courses. The OA course is reaching students from the general public in the P.E. course. These students learn about wildlife conservation in every unit. In fact, they are taught what Pitman Robertson Funds are used for. “It was also neat to learn that taxes on hunting equipment are sent back to the state wildlife programs for research and wildlife conservation.” Doug Murray, OA student, Arlington Martin H.S. As an example of the content taught in the Hunter Education unit, OA increases the knowledge of hunting safety, ethics, methods, equipment and opportunities, according to a Responsive Management study. The students learn “a lot” or “a little” by nearly 90% of all students surveyed. The OA increases the number of students who want to hunt and fish. The DEF’s research shows an increase in Hunter Education certifications, Hunter Licenses, Angler Licenses and Boater Education certifications. School administrators and parents embrace OA. Why would a school and its administration or even its potentially liberal community allow Outdoor Adventures to be taught? The impact OA has on the P.E. student transcends across the school’s academic core classes. For example, a typical middle or high school student who is enrolled in P.E. may not be involved in extracurricular activities like athletics or band. These students are not engaged and they are searching for something to get excited about while at school. These P.E. students have been in P.E. since kindergarten and they are bored with another game of Dodge Ball or volleyball or even rhythmic skills (dance). Imagine their surprise when the P.E. teacher tells them they will learn how to hunt, fish, shoot a bow, cast a rod/reel or fly rod, camp, cook outdoors and learn survival skills. As stated by Jessica Vines, “Every minute of it is just so exciting… so many new things are learned, and every day holds something new.”, OA student, Paris Junior High School, The Paris News, Texas. When students get engaged in their school, they want to be in class and attend school. Research supports OA students have improved self-esteem, attendance, attitudes and decreased discipline issues. Parents love the increased desire for their child to want to attend school. They get involved and want to foster additional support for their child’s new found excitement and activities. Some schools, along with the school administrator’s support and parent involvement, are creating fishing teams, archery teams and even shotguns teams. Following is a letter from Jill Stanford, principal at Lowry Freshman Center, Allen, TX: “The Outdoor Adventures program has been a great addition to the programs available for BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q2 • 2015 25


Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015
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