“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) recently awarded $5,000 in grants to six conservation education-related projects at five different Lee County Schools.

Teachers submitted 18 grant applications to the DDWS Environmental Education Committee by Oct. 31, 2013. The committee chose six awards based on need and relevance to conservation.

Schools to which DDWS awarded grants include Diplomat Elementary School of Cape Coral for its “Water, Water Everywhere” project, Patriot Elementary School of Cape Coral for its “Winged ‘Patriots’ Soar” project, The Sanibel School for its “That Scat!” and “Florida Ecosystem” projects, South Fort Myers High for its “AP Environmental Science Water Quality Field Study” project, and Tice Elementary for its “Fourth Grade Photojournalists: Learning and Sharing Through A Lens” project.

“This is the eighth year the Society has awarded these conservation teacher grants,” says Doris Hardy, education committee chair. “To date, we have awarded nearly $40,000 in teacher grants. We were so impressed by the great projects our teachers and their students imagined this year. The Society is happy to help out the future of conservation stewards in this important way.”

Grant recipients report back on their projects to the Society and refuge, often sending pictures and thank-yous from the students, upon completion in May 2014.

The teacher grants are funded by DDWS monies received from the “Ding” Darling Foundation earmarked specifically for education. For information on next year’s grants, contact Becky Wolff at 239-472-1100 ext. 237 or Hardy at hardydd@comcast.net, or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org/grants after Jan. 1, 2014.

Image courtesy “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society

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