Sharing Two Educational Opportunities

Dear Superintendents,

I’m excited to share two opportunities for Wyoming communities, schools, and students.

Governor Mark Gordon has proclaimed September 28 as Wyoming Public Lands Day. Legislation for this celebration passed during the 2019 session. Learning opportunities in schools are specifically mentioned in the signed proclamation:

I (Governor Mark Gordon) encourage our public schools to observe this day by discussing the role Wyoming’s public lands play in our state’s history, economy, and the diverse benefits we derive from these same lands; and by creating opportunities to connect our youth with the federal and state public lands and land managers within our borders.”

With over half of Wyoming’s land being publicly owned, chances are good that space is very near your schools. Land managers, rangers, public land lessees, and other experts are a phone call away and generally eager to talk to students about one of Wyoming’s great treasures.

If field trips or guest speakers are just not possible, Wyoming teachers have developed curriculum specific to public lands through the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom (WAITC) Stewardship ProjectHere is one example of a WAITC public lands lesson (that could be adapted for almost any grade or class). All lessons are aligned to Wyoming’s science standards and they are available for free at the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom website.

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Wyo Rep. Andy Schwartz sponsored legislation in 2019 that recognizes September 28 as Public Lands Day in our state. Governor Gordon signed the proclamation in Grand Teton National Park.

Also, on September 6, 1870, Louisa Swain cast the first vote by a woman right here in Wyoming. Throughout 2019 and 2020, Wyoming commemorates the vote and women’s suffrage with a number of celebrations. I know firsthand that our future history makers are spending time in your schools learning and innovating each day and I want to hear their stories! I’ve included a memo (How will you make Wyoming History) announcing an essay contest. While this contest is only open to girls in grades 7-12, I’ll gauge participation and success and look for opportunities to include other grades and student groups. Please share the announcement with teachers, leagues of women voters, and other school and community organizations. I am so excited to stand with the winner on December 10 in our Capitol.

Memos to be released on Monday, September 9:

  • 2019-103:  Public Comment: Perkins V Performance Assessment Targets
  • 2019-104:  UW Offers Free Transportation to Campus Pass Day
  • 2019-105:  “Breaking Through” Casper Star Tribune Free Subscription
  • 2019-106:  Essay Contest: How will you be part of Wyoming’s history?

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