Aviary Adventure will be a walk-through exhibit where guests can have an engaging encounter with hundreds of colorful budgies. Budgies, commonly known as parakeets, are small birds that come in a variety of color patterns native to Australia. Guests will be able to interact directly with the birds by purchasing feed sticks, which will allow the birds to perch and eat seed while the Guest holds the stick. The Aviary will house about 300 budgies.
“This new and interactive experience will be an exciting addition to our Park,” acting general manager Kelsey Keller said. "For our 50th season this year, we wanted to develop something new and wild to celebrate’ and we believe Aviary Adventure is the perfect fit. It is our first ever interactive bird experience for the park.”
TSCs donate $53,000 funding local FFA projects
Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) and the National FFA Organization are supporting Ohio’s next generation of agricultural leaders through the third annual Grants for Growing program. This year, Ohio Tractor Supply stores raised $53,000 through customer donations to fund local, youth-led agriculture projects made possible by the initiative.
TSC awarded 24 grants to Ohio FFA chapters that requested funding to build or enhance sustainable educational projects that will further their students’ understanding of agriculture. In Ohio, the grants will help fund a wide variety of projects including an animal science feed trial, agriculture day and community garden.
“Grants for Growing not only allows us to invest in Ohio communities, but also invest in Ohio youth who are the future of the agriculture industry,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “This program gives students hands-on learning experience as they watch their ideas turn their communities into stronger, more sustainable places.”
Since the program’s start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $2.2 million for the National FFA Organization. In total, the initiative has funded 994 grants supporting projects involving more than $103,000 students.
In related news, the TSC Mobile Fair Tour is looking for Ohio 4-H and FFA youth who showcase what it means to be a great neighbor. For an essay contest, the youngsters choose one memorable 4-H or FFA experience and explain how it influenced their development as a great neighbor.
Tractor Supply will select five local winners to receive a commemorative plaque and Tractor Supply gift pack during a recognition ceremony June 16 at the Duck Tape Festival in Avon.
Visit TractorSupply.com/FairTour to submit an essay, review contest rules and regulations and view a list of fair stops. Submissions must be made by 5 p.m. April 29.
Health summit attracts more than 400 professionals
COLUMBUS — The inaugural Ohio Home Visiting Summit, titled “Advancing Our Story,” hosted a sold-out crowd of home visiting professionals from across the state April 16 in Columbus.
The summit was sponsored by the Bureau of Maternal, Child and Family Health at the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). It highlighted the progress being made in home visiting across Ohio and shared the latest research on evidence-based, innovative and promising home visiting and community health worker models. The summit included a roundtable discussion with national leaders from four different home visiting models — Healthy Families America, Moms and Babies First, Parents as Teachers and Nurse-Family Partnership.
Ohio’s home visiting program, called “Help Me Grow,” is administered by ODH and services are provided through a statewide network of local implementing agencies that provide expectant and new parents with information and support in the comfort of their homes.
Social workers, nurses or other early childhood professionals meet regularly with at-risk pregnant women and their families to provide the support, education and resources needed to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
“Research shows that home visiting services improve birth outcomes and can help reduce infant mortality,” ODH director Lance Himes said. “These home visits also improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and connect families with needed supports and resources in their communities.
Area teacher receives award for technology innovation
Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced the seven winners of the 2018 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards, one of which was an area teacher.
A panel of NSTA-appointed experts chose the winning educators — one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator — for their innovative use of data-collection technology in the science classroom.
This year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners included Leah LaCrosse, a McCormick Junior High School teacher, from Huron.
“Leah LaCrosse believes it’s important for students to understand the short- and long-term implications of being responsible citizen scientists in the community,” according to the report. “As such, eighth-graders will participate in a year-long project in which they will use Vernier technology to collect air, water, and soil samples to study the community’s impact on nearby Lake Erie.”
Each winner was recognized at the 2018 NSTA National Conference in Atlanta and received $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference.
“From modeling complex space environments to testing robotic vehicles, this year’s winning educators have designed projects that truly embrace hands-on learning through data collection,” said John Wheeler, Vernier Software & Technology CEO. “These projects showcase how data-collection technology helps students understand important scientific concepts while engaging them in meaningful learning.”
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