Kelli Van Noppen

Teacher, Grade 4

Paxson Elementary, Missoula

"I’m always surprised at how many kids can’t name the river closest to their school. At how many kids have never walked to or spent time at the river closest to their school. Each year, my watershed unit starts out this way…and each year I am always surprised. Maybe saddened is a better descriptor. By the end of the unit, these same kids not only can name the nearest river, but they can rattle off macro species indicative of a healthy watershed. They realize that they have a duty to keep their local water supply healthy and happy. They have become citizen scientists in every sense of the word. But this all takes work…resources, time, energy and lots of patience. When it is up to one teacher, the task is daunting. Teachers are strapped for all the aforementioned items as it is. We pay for buses, for school supplies, and everything from water colors to meals and shoes for some of our students. To be able to pair up with a high quality local organization like the Watershed Education Network means the world to kids and teachers. The students get access to authentic and meaningful experiences guided by knowledgeable facilitators in a place based setting. And teachers are given an enormous gift…the ability to just teach. Funding, logistics, curriculum, pacing is all taken care of. The Adopt a Classroom Project is time, money and resources well spent! Thank you for making this happen in our community.”

Contact Us

(406) 541-9287

PO Box 9201

Missoula, MT 59807

Office closed due to COVID-19

802 E. Front St.

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