$10K grant awarded to 4-H Education Center

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wells Fargo recently presented the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center with a grant for $10,000.

The camp plans to use the funds to provide educational classes to nearby school children over the next year.

Tim Holt, a Lynchburg Wells Fargo vice president and senior business relationship manager presented the award at the educational center Thursday morning.

Preston Willson, CEO of the center; Bryan Branch, center director; and Tamara Lewis, administrative assistant and natural resource education coordinator, accepted the award.

According to a press release, “the funds will be used so that children from the surrounding district schools in 17 counties and the cities of Lynchburg and Charlottesville will be able to participate in the Natural Resource Education program (NRE).”

Lewis said homeschooled students are invited to participate.

The program is adaptable for elementary, middle and high school students.

Cumberland, Prince Edward and Buckingham counties participate in the program regularly, Lewis said.

According to Lewis, the program takes place during the school year. Students participate in hands-on science and history classes at the center.

“The grant will provide money for them to come as a field trip,” she said.

“For one of the classes, we might go down to the stream of nets and catch macroinvertebrates,” said Lewis. “We have a herpetology class where they have reptiles and amphibians and they get that hands-on. Two of our newer classes are our history classes … Native American (Studies) and Pioneer Life.”

The program offers classes about forestry, wildlife and aquatic ecology, as well as mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology and entomology. Students can learn about water chemistry, geology, astronomy, meteorology and soil during the programming.

According to the press release, the programs the students participate in correlate with Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL). In addition to science and history, there are also lifeskills and leadership development lessons.

Lewis said students typically have time for three classes during their visit. The camp also provides an in-school class as a part of the program, either before or after students go on their field trip.

According to the release, more than 4,000 annually students participate in the NRE program at the 4-H Educational Center, located in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest.

“It gives the students a chance to see hands-on what the teachers are teaching them in the classroom, so instead of just reading about it they actually get to come and experience it,” Lewis said. “It gives (them) more of a connection to it.”

“They love it. You can see their faces light up usually, especially when they catch things in the stream,” said Lewis.

Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center provides a variety of programs for children and adults, including summer camps, outdoor education courses and family programs.

For more information on the program, call (434) 248-5444 or visit www.holidaylake4h.com