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Schools program takes students outdoors

by Flip Putthoff | May 11, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Teachers looking for ways to incorporate the outdoors into physical education can have ready-made curricula ready to go for next school year through a new program offered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

The Outdoor Adventures program created and administered through the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation enables teachers to choose from a variety of outdoors skills to create a semester-long class that qualifies for a physical education credit.

Scot McClure, director of education for the foundation, said 655 schools have signed up for the program throughout the nation. Cabot Freshman Academy in Cabot is the most recent Arkansas school to sign up.

Education opportunities vary from angling and archery to paddlesports and camping.

"There are 34 units in the program for teachers to choose from and all of them are applicable in Arkansas except for ice fishing," McClure said. "The teacher can customize the program to fit the needs of their students and their community."

Outdoor Adventures curriculum is for kindergarten to 12th grade and incorporates existing Game and Fish programs like Arkansas National Archery in the Schools, boating education and hunter education. The recent passage of Senate Bill 161 allows all Arkansas public schools to incorporate hunter safety courses into their physical education and health and safety curriculum.

Schools that may not have equipment budgets can take advantage of special grants through the program to purchase archery gear, fishing tackle and other outdoor items to be used in lessons. Additional grants are available in Arkansas through the Department of Rural Services.

Visit www.agfc.com/en/education or call 501-223-6300 to learn more about education programs offered by Game and Fish. For more information on signing up for the Outdoor Adventures program, contact Scot McClure at 972-504-9008 or email [email protected]

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