The Nature of Teaching program at Purdue University has selected Mayflower Mill kindergarten teacher Jennifer Ruhl to receive its "Dynamite Teacher" award. The award recognizes her ongoing efforts to incorporate nature into her classroom.
Ruhl's class put up a birdfeeder last year and students frequently go outdoors to observe birds, identify colors, count birds and more. She also leads the school's Nature Club for second and third graders that allows them to explore a variety of topics including mammals, birds and invasive plants.
"We now have a whole bird-friendly garden for the students to enjoy," says Ruhl. "The response from students has been overwhelming. It really opened my eyes to the need for quality, hands-on environmental education."