Haldane Teachers Get HELP

Hudson Environmental Learning Program provides resources

Teachers returning to Haldane this fall will arrive with new ideas about how to use the Hudson River Valley as a classroom for teaching about the environment, science and history thanks to their recent participation in a week-long educational training program from HELP, the Haldane/Hudson Environmental Learning Program (HELP).

HELP, which is funded by the Haldane School Foundation (HSF), promotes the use of the Hudson River and its environs as a resource for educational programming throughout the Haldane School system. Now moving into its 10th year, HELP has helped organize and fund class projects, field trips, school programs, assemblies and, most recently, the week-long training program for Haldane teachers.

Held in August, the Summer HELP 2012 program featured several important training exercises and programs for Haldane teachers, including an educational kayaking trip to Bannerman’s Island, Mountain School Survival Training on Little Stony Point, a class on bird watching, banding and identification at Constitution Marsh, and a guided historical tour of West Point.

Upon completion of the HELP course and its requirements, teachers are eligible for up to three continuing education credits. In order to receive the credits, teachers must design three new related lesson plans, take part in five environmental committee meetings throughout the year, and participate in Haldane’s annual Eco-Fair.

“The HELP program inspires teachers with new ideas about how to use the unique environmental and historical resources here in the Hudson Valley to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities,” says Leah Horn, a Haldane middle-school science teacher who both helped coordinate and participated in the program.

HELP represents a signature initiative for the Haldane School Foundation, which has provided approximately $6,000 per year to fund the program since HELP’s inception 10 years ago.

“Programs like HELP demonstrate the direct connection between the financial support the Haldane School Foundation receives from the community and new educational opportunities for Haldane students,” says Craig Roffman, vice president of the HSF. “Members of the community can help ensure that programs like this continue to enhance the educational experience at Haldane through participation in events like our upcoming annual Fall Ball Fundraiser.”

The HSF Fall Ball Fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, at The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls. Attendees can support the students of Haldane while enjoying cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased through haldaneschoolfoundation.org.

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