The Light Project
The Light Project - an acronym for literacy, inquiry, getting outside, having fun and time spent with family. The program was inspired by Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. The Light Project aims to get Darke County first graders interested in science and exploring the environments around them. The Project was created by Angela McMurry, K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist with the Darke County ESC and is a program that is funded and supported by The Light Foundation.
The idea is that when children are immersed in nature, the experience can inspire creativity, provides a blank slate for fantasy, offers a healing place for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood, helps them to gain confidence, provides freedom and privacy for reflection. For families, nature discovery provides an opportunity to reconnect with each other and disconnect with the stresses of technology around them. For students, this program connects the standards for science with trade-books for children. The activities and journal writing encourage critical thinking, encourage real-world connections to classroom standards through use of science tools and challenge students to be change agents within their school buildings and communities.
The program supplies each Darke County Ohio School’s first grade classrooms with:
The first "Family Fun Adventure Day" kick off theme every year has been "Pond, Frogs, and Fish" and it is held at The Light Foundation's Chenoweth Trails Pond in the month of September. This year's event included a special reading of The World Is Waiting For You, family fishing and adventure at the pond, snacks and concluded with a reflective journal drawing and writing by the students. Volunteers from the Wayne Lakes Group Hooked On Fishing, Not On Drugs helped to facilitate the day this year by teaching first-time fishers how to bait their hook, set their bait, cast the line and release their catches. We had a huge turnout, and the students and their families enjoyed it! It was so heartwarming seeing the kids outside enjoying nature and interacting with their families!
Each month the Family Fun day features a different book and activity. Here is an example of a book, activity, and journal idea.
Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre
Activity: Go on a woodpecker hunt! You can go throughout the year, as most woodpeckers do not migrate. Listen for their drumming on trees. Do you see holes in large trees? Can you locate wood chips on the ground? What other evidence can you find to suggest a woodpecker is in the area? If you spot a woodpecker, can you identify what type it is?
Journal Idea: Draw a picture of the woodpecker you discovered or the evidence of a woodpecker in the area. Why does the woodpecker stay in the ecosystem throughout the year (why don’t they migrate)? Write about it.
Extension: Install a suet feeder at your house. Set out sunflower seeds. Count how many woodpeckers visit the feeder. What other birds join the woodpecker at the feeders?
Dear 1st Grade Parents,
Your child has the opportunity to participate in a Darke County program, the LIGHT Project. The Darke County Educational Service Center and the Light Foundation, sponsor this project. The goals of this project are to encourage: literacy, family engagement, science inquiry, and being outside, and this project is completely FREE for your district and first grade students.
The Family Fun Day to kickoff for this project is Saturday, September 30th at Chenoweth Trails (Rear Entrance, 6336 Hillgrove Southern Rd, Greenville). The program consists of 3 parts: 1) we ask that you read the science book that your child brings home; 2) complete the activities listed on the inside cover of the book and 3) complete the journal entry and survey questions that go along with the book. Once you and your child have completed those 3 things, return the book to your schoolteacher for a new title. Your child will earn prizes for every 5 books and activities that he/she completes!
As noted in a previous letter you received, there will also be an OPTIONAL, monthly Family Fun Day at Chenoweth Trails for your family to attend. Each month we will focus on a specific theme with science and literature-based activities for your whole family to complete and enjoy! After returning the permission slip below, your child will receive an activity bag with science supplies, which will help them to complete the book activities. Please have your child bring their science bag and tools to the October, December, February and March activity days at Chenoweth Trails. Although there are buildings with heat, most of the activities will occur outside, so please dress for the weather. Children that attend the special Saturday Chenoweth Trails events will earn 2 EXTRA STARS on their classroom LIGHT Project Book/Prize Chart. The dates and times for these free events are listed below:
Ponds, Frogs and Fish: September 30, 2017, 10:00am-12:00pm (Kick-off) Rear Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 6336 Hillgrove Southern Rd, Greenville,
Spiders and Insects: October 28, 2017, 1:00pm- 3:00pm, Main Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Rd, Greenville
Special Event At Darke County Parks: November, 11 2017, from 1:00pm-3:00pm Shawnee Prairie, 4267 State Route 502, Greenville
Bird Migration: December 9, 2017, from 1:00pm-3:00pm, Main Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Rd, Greenville
Winter Exploration: February 24, 2018, 1:00pm-3:00pm, Main Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Rd, Greenville
Welcome Spring: March 24, 2018, 10:00am-12:00pm, Main Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Rd, Greenville
Earth Day/Final Celebration: April 28, 2018 1:00pm-3:00pm, Main Entrance of Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Rd, Greenville
Please direct any questions to your child’s teacher, Angela McMurry at the Darke County Educational Service Center, 937-548-4915 X221 or firstname.lastname@example.org or April Brubaker, The Light Foundation, 937-316-6352/ 937-417-3049 or email@example.com