TPWD News Release — Aug. 21, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas — This September, Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine will begin a new Keep Texas Wild student section for teachers and families to introduce children to the world of nature and the outdoors. For the next year, magazine issues containing the new section will mail to more than 9,000 schools across the state, thanks to a grant from ExxonMobil and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
Each month, 19,500 copies of the magazine with the four-page Keep Texas Wild section will go to statewide public and private schools. That includes three copies each to elementary schools with fourth grades, one copy to secondary schools, and a copy each to university education departments, the Texas Youth Commission and regional school science coordinators. The section will focus on fourth grade learning standards.
"Because 9-year-olds in fourth grade possess enough mastery of reading skills to pursue more complex subject matter, this is a wonderful age to inspire future hunters, anglers, conservationists, biologists, photographers and nature writers," said Lydia Saldaña, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department communications director.
The kid-friendly, four-page section will include fun facts presented with a lively writing style, eye-popping photos and a creative, whimsical design. Each topic will be Texas-specific, with special attention to current conservation issues. The section will also include hands-on activities that cross the spectrum of school curricula (such as art, math, science and social studies) and a call to action that encourages students to get outdoors and get involved in hands-on learning.
The theme for the September issue of Keep Texas Wild is predators. The informational goal is to help children understand that predators are not "bad guys," but rather a vital component of the natural world. Upcoming issues will feature bats, Native Americans, animal homes, rare species, animal extremes, wildlife babies, bees and other pollinators, bird migration, turtles, water conservation and snakes.
"ExxonMobil’s long history of support for education reflects our commitment to providing students the tools to make balanced choices in a complex world," said Robert Lanyon, ExxonMobil manager of corporate citizenship and community investments. "We are proud to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in engaging kids’ interest in our ‘wild’ environment."
Companion Web pages for Keep Texas Wild will also be available. Teachers or parents can download material in printable PDF format in the "Teacher Tool Kit" resource area on the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine Web site. From the magazine site, those who want to delve deeper can also link to lesson plans, additional activities and supplemental information for students and teachers. Teachers also can sign up to receive monthly e-mails with links to Keep Texas Wild sections.
In late fall, an online survey will be added to gauge success and solicit advice for improvement. Additional classroom copies of the magazine and subscriptions are available to teachers at a discounted price.
The September issue of TPW magazine will be available on newsstands at most major retailers, or anyone can order a copy online. An annual magazine subscription costs $19.95. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393. For information on retail magazine sales, contact Deborah Follien at Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 389-8702.
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