Earlier this week, the Chesapeake Bay Trust met with leaders from the Annapolis Maritime Museum to announce a $25,000 environmental education grant to fund the Museum’s “MUDDY FEET” Program. This program, which stands for “Maritime Unbounded Damp & Dirty Yucky Fun Environmental Education & Training,” seeks to provide all Annapolis-area schoolchildren with at least three meaningful watershed educational experiences prior to high school graduation. The Trust announced this grant as part of its Environmental Education grant program, which awarded more than $450,000 in 2010 to fund educational initiatives throughout Maryland.
“Maryland is leading the nation in environmental education through Governor O’Malley’s visionary Children in Nature Partnership and the adoption by the State Board of Education of a groundbreaking environmental literary graduation requirement for all Maryland students,” said Dr. Allen Hance, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “To advance these goals, which are critical to Maryland’s competitiveness in the emerging green economy, the Trust is committed to working with school districts and programs like MUDDY FEET to ensure that our youth graduate from high school as environmental literate students and citizens.”
The MUDDY FEET Program has grown dramatically since it was launched in 2008 with 350 students participating. During the 2009-2010 school year, 1,200 students participated and by the end of this current school year, the Museum will have achieved its objective of reaching all city-based elementary and middle schools, serving 1,700 students in 25 schools. With the support of the Chesapeake Bay Trust grant, this growth will continue: next year, more than 2,300 students in 33 Anne Arundel County schools will get “MUDDY FEET.”
“The Museum is incredibly thankful for the support we have received from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and our many partners in the MUDDY FEET program,” stated Annapolis Maritime Museum Director Jeff Holland. “It is because of organizations like the Trust that we are able to reach so many Annapolis children and teach them about the Chesapeake Bay while they get the opportunity to experience it, and learn how to preserve it, firsthand.”
The Museum’s education programs are aligned with Anne Arundel Country Public School standards and curricula in language arts, social studies, science and math. Students participate in a myriad of activities that include making observations, taking measurements, keeping journal records, exploring historic Bay sites, handling artifacts, and speaking with watermen, tradesmen, historians, and artists. For more information on the Museum and its programs, visit http://www.amaritime.org.