HCWA hosts more than 3,000 Cubihatcha Kids
After months of preparation to pull off its largest educational event of the year, employees of the Henry County Water Authority and partners in education hosted approximately 3,000 third-grade students and 120 teachers from Henry County Schools over the course of two weeks for field trips at its Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center in Locust Grove (GA).
Educators praised the Authority and its partners – which included the Henry County Board of Education, the Henry County Board of Commissioners, and other local volunteers and organizations – for providing students with “hands on” experiences that are applied to their third-grade curricula. In addition, the field trips encouraged student appreciation of natural resources and awareness of the water/sewer utility’s role in the community.
“The outdoor field trips foster opportunities for all third graders to learn about their environment, while interacting with the community and district level leaders,” says Kaneice Bembry, Coordinator of Science for Henry County Schools. “This educational partnership serves to enhance learning experiences, as students apply what is taught in the classroom setting to the Cubihatcha’s diverse habitat of various types of native plants and animals. The end result is a relevant, meaningful and memorable learning experience.”
The “Cubihatcha Kids” – the third graders from Henry County Schools – participated in outdoor activities and lessons on topics such as: Native Wildlife Habitats, Bee Apiaries, the Life of a Tree, Watershed Enviroscape, Watershed Pollution, Sediment in the Streams, Fish of the Reservoir, FOG (fats, oils and grease) Relays, H2O Olympics/Water Striders, The Water Cycle, Gardening and Harvesting, Fire Prevention, Electric Safety and Friction, the Water Treatment Process, the Waste Water Process, and more.
“Everyone involved here is friendly and children-oriented, so I think my students learn that education can be fun when you apply lessons to daily life,” says Shaunte Strong, third grade teacher at Stockbridge Elementary School. “I think that they’ll remember this positive experience for years to come.”
Sarah Nelms, third grade teacher at Little Cotton Indian Elementary School, confirmed that her students love the opportunity to learn valuable lessons at the Cubihatcha Center.
“The activities here (at Cubihatcha) align perfectly with what they are learning in the classroom, especially on topics such as pollution and conservation,” she says. “And everything is extremely hands-on and enjoyable.”
Finally, as Eileen Butts, third grade teacher at Little Cotton Indian Elementary, watched her students participate in the FOG (fats, oils and grease) Relay, she saw the value of practical experience that the students can apply to their everyday lives as well.
“I’ve been bringing my students on these field trips for many years,” she noted. “I see how much they love the activities, especially in learning how to keep the environment clean. Like how they learn not to put grease down the drain because of the damage it can cause. I really appreciate the Henry County Water Authority for providing these experiences.”
The HCWA Cubihatcha Center began hosting field trips for Henry County students in 2003, and the Cubihatcha Center has grown to serve as the focal point of HCWA public education and outreach. To date, an estimated 46,000 “Cubihatcha Kids” from Henry County Schools have participated in these annual field trips.
Dr. Chris Wood
P: 770-757-1681 (phone)
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