Paducah’s Morgan Elementary School wins $5,000 grant for eco-friendly playground makeover.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Discovery Education and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)’s Education Foundation today announced the grand prize winner and two runners-up of TurfMutt’s second annual national ‘Spruce Up Your School’ sweepstakes.
The national TurfMutt program, named after Lucky, a real-life rescue dog, is a digital curriculum that encourages kids and their families to protect and foster green space in their communities, and advocates for animal rescue and adoption initiatives.
The TurfMutt curriculum has reached more than one million students across the country, and is featured on the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, Department of Energy and the Center for Green Schools at USGBC websites.
Kim Davidson, a Morgan Elementary teacher, won the grand prize on behalf of her entire school. Located in Paducah, Ky., Morgan Elementary School will receive a $5,000 grant to introduce more green space around school grounds and play areas, and all students at Morgan Elementary will receive a TurfMutt backpack with school supplies.
Davidson entered the TurfMutt sweepstakes hoping to create a vibrant play area around the school and encourage environmental awareness through the care of more green space.
Discovery Education and OPEI will present Davidson and Morgan Elementary School with the Grand Prize check on May 24, along with a surprise visit from Lucky, the real-life rescue dog and TurfMutt spokesdog.
“Since we are located in the very heart of Paducah, our children get limited access to natural, green space areas,” said Vicki Conyer, Morgan’s school principal. “Thanks to OPEI and Discovery Education, this makeover will give our students expanded outdoor experiences and enjoyment for years to come.”
“For the second year in a row, we’ve had a terrific response from teachers across the country,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “Teachers understand that green space around the school helps kids be more active, investigate how things grow, and learn about their unique ecosystem. The only way to learn about the outdoors is to get outdoors, and that is what the TurfMutt program is all about.”
The two runners-up in the TurfMutt Sweepstakes are Becky Adams from Hearn Academy in Phoenix, Az.; and Robert Voss from Yorktown Elementary School in Yorktown, Ind. Students in these two winning classrooms will receive TurfMutt-branded “Green Packs” that contain eco-friendly school supplies, including a canvas backpack, lunch bag, colored pencils, and a water bottle.
“TurfMutt’s resources are making it possible for students to build a bridge between what they’re learning in science class and what they see in their environment,” said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president. “Discovery Education is thrilled to work alongside OPEI to award prizes that reinforce these lessons and give students the opportunity to better understand and embrace the nature around them.”