Clearwater Classroom Programs

Eli Schloss

I was not ready for the enthusiasm that confronted me on a cold December morning in Verplanck. As I walked into the 5th grade classroom, I was greeted by the refrain- “Animals need water, people need it too.”

Yes, that classic, stuck-in-your-head catchy Bob Reid song. How were they so familiar with this song from Clearwater’s roots?

The students at Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School are beginning their 2nd year of Hudson River studies with Clearwater. Last year these students came to Beacon for a Tideline program at The Beacon Sloop Club. This year they will be sailing on the sloop. Each grade K-5 will have a distinct CW experience. Linda Richards will conduct a HR Assembly for the Kindergarten, we will bring our live specimen program The HR Extravaganza for the 1st and 3rd, Eels on Wheels for the 2nd grade, and the HR Chart puzzle for the 4th grade. With the 5th grade we just conducted the Water Pollution Cleanup Activity, and they will sail in June. Here is the link to our program descriptions.

We use the river as the center of our “spiraling curriculum” and approach the topic through different disciplines at different ages, at the same time incorporating the lesson plans and units of study already in place at the school. Using inquiry-based learning the students recognize their relationship to the river, and develop a connection that will last a lifetime and lead them to be the next generation of environmental leaders.

Clearwater has always strived to extend our impact beyond the 3-hour sail. Walking in to the school and recognizing staff and teachers, hearing the song and the recounting of last years field program was a wonderful reminder of how we do make an impact. We are proud of our collaboration in Verplanck and will be replicating the model in many other schools. “Keep it clean for me, and I will keep it clean for you!”

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