Rob Royalty, Superintendent and Teacher at Thomas-Fay-Custer Unified Schools in Western Oklahoma, came back from attending the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) with the idea of establishing an Outdoor Education/ Wildlife Conservation course at his school.
He began by creating a syllabus based on the information that he learned at AWLS, and then expanded it to create a year-long class which gives his students real life outdoor experiences.
Working in conjunction with the school’s FFA program, he started a junior and senior National Archery In The Schools Program (NASP) Team, and has hosted State and Federal Wildlife Rangers as well as hunters and fishermen as guest speakers. He is also working with Southwestern Oklahoma State University to educate TFC students about career opportunities in wildlife management, biology, and other jobs that pertain to wildlife conservation.
The class uses the SCIF “Hands On Wildlife” (HOW) Kit and puppet shows to teach elementary students about the love of being outdoors and ecosystems close to home.
Students receive an environmental science credit for taking the class, and Superintendent Royalty plans to expand this curriculum to sophomores, juniors, and adult education classes in the future. To say that Superintendent Royalty took what he learned at AWLS and ran with it is an understatement, he has started a conservation education movement in Western Oklahoma, and we thank him for fostering a conservation ethic among his students.