Our classroom presentations for students are especially popular with elementary school classrooms, usually grades 3 to 6. They generally last 45 minutes or a bit longer. BCR brings slide presentations and sometimes additional materials, and our retired credentialed teachers have provided the teaching in most instances. Most classroom visits are on an ad-hoc, as-requested basis and are tailored to the situation, although we have some repeat client schools.
For older students (middle and high school), the dialogue becomes more serious, as these students are more aware of environmental issues. Many have participated in environmental events, and some have begun to consider environmental studies for their future college and perhaps beyond, for their career. BCR has been gratified to work with Culver City High School students who formed a “BCR Club” to not only participate in our projects but also help to run them. Their energy and enthusiasm are gratifying to all, including the general public!
The sessions are very interactive with a lot of questions and dialog. During those sessions, the students learn more about BCR, Ballona Creek, the watershed, the wetlands, the ocean, the native flora, fauna, and peoples. We touch on past, present and future–both the good things and the problems and what we all can do to make the creek better for all.
Our presentations have included a short slide presentation followed by student participation talks and activities about how the watershed works and its native plants and the native people who connected well with their natural environment and used the natural resources around them. In all this, we touch on the school’s location in the watershed.
These sessions at the school have been followed by a field trip to the Ballona Wetlands in a school-provided bus. To make the most of resources, BCR hosts the classroom visits and Friends of Ballona Wetlands, another widely-respected non-profit organization, hosts the field trip. BCR receives a donation from the school in return and shares it with FBW.
We have enjoyed such one-time or repeating experiences at various public and private schools. On other occasions, BCR has hosted or co-hosted field trips from the Baldwin Hills to the creek and the wetlands for students from upper elementary school through college.