The MBC Community Outreach Team met on Friday, April 14. The meeting went very well. We all took a look at what we are trying to accomplish with our community outreach efforts and did a lot of brain storming. What we all want to happen is to have an outreach to youth that is kid-oriented and bird-oriented. The focus being to get kids involved in birds, birding and conservation efforts.
We looked at our budget and the effort required to fund any project at the levels seen in the last two years for the Poster Contest. We loved the Poster Contest and feel the results were well worth the effort. However, we concluded that, going forward, while we may sponsor other such contests in the future, for the coming year we would like to concentrate on educational outreach in the schools. Hence, we are going to break new ground by launching an MBC Speaker’s Bureau and recruiting interested MBC’ers (maybe you could become one of them?) to go into the Charlottesville City and Albemarle County schools and speak to classrooms about birds, birding, and conservation efforts.
Our goal will be to get the kids interested in birding, provide educational materials for interested classrooms and do something that is new, different, and within our budget constraints. To begin this effort, we have set a target of 3 presentations in September. Following the presentations, we will solicit feedback and then recalibrate our efforts based on the information we receive.
So, we need volunteer speakers! To get us started, there is a training program for prospective classroom speakers about birds and birding that is offered free of charge through the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries of Virginia that Mary Mapel is currently working on to have available for prospective speakers. After the training, as a member of our Speaker’s Bureau, you will help determine what our outreach subject matter will be, help design a classroom presentation, gather supporting educational materials, and be available as an MBC Outreach Speaker. (Hopefully, the DGIF of Virginia will be able to suggest outreach birding topics that have already proved successful in classrooms and offer appropriate educational support materials.)
So, please let me know if you would like to become a member of the proposed MBC Speaker’s Bureau and support this new outreach initiative for the Club. Drop me an email at [email protected]. If I could hear back from you by the end of this week, that would be great!
As always, I am available to provide support and ensure your success.