St. Luke's students, teacher earn Audubon award

Audubon also recognizes students and teachers from Waddington School

Posted 10/26/17

Doreen Schiff and her eighth grade students at St. Luke’s School in Barrington recently received the Audubon 2017 Youth Conservation Award.  

The local private school students were …

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St. Luke's students, teacher earn Audubon award

Audubon also recognizes students and teachers from Waddington School

Posted

Doreen Schiff and her eighth grade students at St. Luke’s School in Barrington recently received the Audubon 2017 Youth Conservation Award.  

The local private school students were honored for their dedication and collaborative efforts in studying and protecting the Annawamscutt Brook and raising awareness of local wildlife and the critical habitats they depend on. They collaborated and shared the honor with educators Melissa Guillet, Donna Long and students at the Waddington School in East Providence.  

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island recognized the educators and their students at the society’s annual meeting held on Oct. 22.

Ms. Schiff, an eighth grade teacher at St. Luke's School, has been facilitating an extensive student research project on the health of the Annawamscutt Brook since 2011.  

Her students visit the creek six times over the course of a year and collect data on the water chemistry and macro-invertebrate diversity to determine the quality of the creek habitat. Over the years, students have also done numerous clean-up projects along the shoreline. 

The Barrington Land Trust Council has been a long-time supporter of the project and Audubon educator and naturalist Ginger Brown has volunteered her time and expertise for many years.

In 2016, Waddington School art teacher Melissa Guillet and fifth grade teacher Donna Long joined the water quality project and also began conducting research with third to fifth grade students along the Annawamscutt Brook, a portion of which flows through their school property in East Providence.  

Students studied the creek habitat and created art projects that related to the animals and plants along the waterway. Their art was then incorporated into educational signage that was developed for the public.

In addition to their individual projects, the two schools have collaborated in their research. Eighth-graders from St. Luke’s have visited the Waddington School to share their research skills with the fifth grade students and the third-graders have hiked to the Haines Park site in Barrington, where students from St. Luke's taught them about life in the creek. 

"I am very impressed with the projects the students and teachers of St. Luke's School and Waddington School are doing along the Annawamscutt Brook,” said Audubon Senior Director of Education Lauren Parmelee. “Their collaborative commitment to long-term research and habitat improvement is an excellent example of students learning in the real world and making positive change in their communities."

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