Centenary partners with Red River Wildlife Refuge to educate Girl Scouts

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary graduate students working toward a master of arts in teaching spent Saturday, February 9, educating a group of Girl Scouts on-site at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge.

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"This was a great opportunity for our teachers to collaborate with not only the Girl Scouts but also the Red River Wildlife Refuge, which just opened last year," said Dr. Genell Harris, Centenary Visiting Associate Professor of Education. "Our teachers were able to hone their teaching skills while helping educate young girls about nature's wonders."

The graduate students taught small groups of Girl Scouts using their own individually created lessons in math or science. Lisa Bigham, who is working on her elementary education certification, taught a lesson on unique bird beaks.

"I loved seeing the excitement the girls had while learning science!" said Bigham. "The Wildlife Refuge was the perfect backdrop. Even though I've taught 13 years, I have gained a lot from my classes at Centenary."

The event marks an addition to the Centenary Education Department's methods for observing and developing teachers for the Shreveport-Bossier area. Though Centenary graduate students still gain teaching experience during normal hours in area schools, professors are also seeking out weekend opportunities as many students work full-time during the day. This sort of personalization is what attracted Kezia Pigford, who is working on an MAT in Elementary Education, to the program.

"Centenary has a stellar reputation overall. The MAT program offers the opportunity to gain my teacher certification along with a master's degree. Most programs offer only certification for a similar amount of credit hours. The student-faculty ratio was also appealing and offers a great deal of one-on-one guidance."

Looking toward the future, the group will visit and teach more lessons at Sunset Acres Elementary on Saturday, March 9.