Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative (OSEEC) AmeriCorps
Since 2004, the Norman Bird Sanctuary has partnered with Save the Bay, Roger Williams Park Zoo and the Audubon Society to create a unique collaboration known as Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative or OSEEC. Through this innovative program the sites host seasonal AmeriCorps members, who help to expand each organizations' capacity and reach underserved populations throughout Rhode Island.
The Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative’s AmeriCorps Program
The Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative's AmeriCorps Program (OSEEC) is a strategic effort by Rhode Island's top environmental education organizations; the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Save The Bay, Roger Williams Park Zoo and Audubon Society - to address the lack of science proficiency and environmental literacy among students in the state's urban core cities. Through this unique partnership, OSEEC's AmeriCorps members teach thousands of underprivileged and underperforming students with no- and low-cost environmental education programs in schools and community after-school programs each year. Over the past six years, members have delivered 1,789 hands-on, field-based science programs, reaching 112,627 students in Rhode Island’s urban communities. The OSEEC AmeriCorps Program is a long-term commitment to community-centered education as a vehicle to promote science, connect children to their natural environment, and cultivate environmentally literate, active citizens.
Reduced state and federal funding have left Rhode Island's urban schools with extremely limited resources. Field-based science programs have been eliminated in many core city schools, leaving urban students with little or no inquiry-based science instruction. Yet, research conducted by the State Education and Environment Roundtable indicates that the benefits of hands-on education programs include better performance on standardized tests, increased self esteem, reduced discipline problems, increased enthusiasm for learning and greater pride and ownership in accomplishments. Given the huge gap in Rhode Island's science test scores between urban and non-urban students, quality environmental education programs such as those provided by OSEEC are especially critical.
OSEEC’s 16 AmeriCorps members serve one year which is equal to 1,700 hours divided amongst the Norman Bird Sanctuary (4members), Save The Bay (5members), the Roger Williams Park Zoo (5members), and the Audubon Society (2members). The members train as environmental educators and provide environmental education programs to schools and community organizations in the core cities of Providence, Newport, Central Falls, West Warwick, Pawtucket and Woonsocket.
For more information about OSEEC’s AmeriCorps Program
, please contact Isaac Lavoie, AmeriCorps Program Director at 401-272-3540 x 134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Save The Bay
Roger Williams Park Zoo