Environmental field-study program expands to Upstate

By Chris Copeland

students participating in outdoor soil class; photo courtesy of the Youth Learning Institute

As early as second and third grade, children learn about the earth’s environmental problems. They can explain the demise of rainforests, the plight of endangered species and the damage of oil spills.

Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute agrees with author David Sobel that “if we want children to flourish, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it.”

Since 1991, the Institute has reached more than 70,000 teachers and students through Teaching Kids About The Environment (KATE) programs at Camp Bob Cooper in Summerton. Now, a gift of forestland by The Cliffs Communities and its foundations will enable the program to expand to the Upstate.

During the three-day/two-night adventure, third through fifth graders are logo, teaching kids about the environmentexposed to more core outdoor education than they experience in three weeks of traditional classroom instruction. The program was developed by the Youth Learning Institute and the S.C. Coalition for Natural Resources. It utilizes science-based curriculum that covers water ecology, wildlife resources, forestry and soil science, and is endorsed by the S.C. Department of Education.

For more information: Greg Linke, 864-353-4313, glinke@clemson.edu or http://www.clemson.edu/yli/teachingkate/.