The PA Association of Environmental Educators honored the winners of its 2017 Awards at its annual conference in mid-March. PAEE recognized individuals and programs in several categories--
Ruth Roperti, past president of PAEE, was recognized with the Keystone Award which recognizes an educator who has dedicated their life to advancing the quality and opportunity for environmental education in Pennsylvania. (photo)
Ruth was nominated by her long-time colleague, Jane Conrad, for her commitment to environmental education as a classroom teacher, grant writer, longtime PAEE board member, and volunteer with the Moraine Preservation Fund and numerous other environmental organizations.
While President of PAEE, she was instrumental in expanding the reach of the Project WET & Project Learning Tree programs, and growing PAEE's networks through partnerships with various regional, state and national organizations including the North American Association for Environmental Education, Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment, & EE Capacity Project.
Ruth remains a steady force to promote and advance environmental education opportunities throughout Pennsylvania. Click Here to read more about Ruth.
Outstanding Environmental Ed Program
The Wildlands Conservancy’s Wild About Learning Program is the winner of this year’s Outstanding Environmental Education program.
The program was nominated for it's nature-based, in-school program, that runs biweekly from October to June and includes 15 school visits and 2 field trips to the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary.
First grade classrooms in each of the United Way's Priority Schools receive this grant funded program that combines hands-on discovery, field experiences, wildlife presentations and nature-themed books.
This approach links nonfiction themes and fictional materials to enhance concepts and understanding and, ultimately, improve reading skills. Click Here to read more about the program.
Outstanding Environmental Educator
Jennifer Brooks from Berks County Parks & Recreation Department is the recipient of the Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.
She is currently stationed at the Angora Fruit Farm at Antietam Lake Park, which is situated in the middle of 665 acres of protected parkland. She has developed the site from scratch, tailoring it to their education department’s needs.
What once was an old, overgrown orchard is now an amazing outdoor classroom with a butterfly house, organic children’s vegetable garden, natural play area, floating wetlands, and an “enchanted forest.”
She offers hands-on programs to the public, as well as to public, private schools, and other groups. Click Here to read more about Jennifer.
Daisy S. Klinedinst Memorial Award
Jenni Urban, an intern with the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County is the winner of the Daisy S. Klinedinst Memorial Award which recognizes educators with fewer than 5 years of experience in the field.
Jenni is a real asset to WPNR's Environmental Education programming, outreach, and support. She is regularly entrusted to plan, organize, and teach EE programs from preschool students through adults and she does a phenomenal job.
She is also often responsible for the care of our education animals, a docent at the Reserve front desk, and involved in the planning of many large events, including Westmoreland Earth Day and Nature Night Out. Click Here to read more about Jenni.For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the PA Association of Environmental Educators website.