Spotsylvania County Meaningful Day Program
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The Spotsylvania County Meaningful Day Program (SCMDP) engages students in a one-day, hands-on learning experience that promotes critical thinking about agriculture, forestry, watershed management, and watershed ecology. The SCMDP was modeled after the Virginia Soil & Water Conservation Districts’(VASWCD) Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE), to fulfill Spotsylvania’s Elementary Schools environmental literacy requirements as part of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. The SCMDP uses experiential learning theory as building blocks for educational knowledge to be shared from the partnering agencies to the students. This research project investigated the station facilitators and fourth grade teachers to understand how they perceived the SCMDP, and MWEE programs, and how they related to the educational topics of environmental literacy and experiential learning. Findings revealed that half of the participants were unaware of the goal of these programs, and did not know how to integrate the principles of experiential learning theory into the stations or their teaching. Recommendations include offering professional development for the facilitators and teachers, updating the stations to adapt to the changing Standards of Learning, and working with all agencies and teachers to offer consistent communication about the future programs.