Central fifth grade teacher receives $2,500 science grant

A fifth grade teacher at Central Elementary School was recently awarded a $2,500 grant that allows her students to participate in the Muddy Sneakers program, an environmental education program that teaches fifth-grade students about science while in outside classrooms such as the Uwharrie National Forest.

The North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council awarded the N.C. Schools Go Outside (GO) grant to Amber Flamer’s class.

“As a science teacher, this program is important to me because it will allow our fifth graders hands-on learning in their own backyard,” Flamer said. “Students get to explore nature and their exploration aligns with our fifth-grade standards for N.C. science.”

Flamer applied for the grant in early September and said her class will be starting the Muddy Sneakers program Jan. 10.

The grant was presented to Flamer by State Sen. Carl Ford (R-Stanly).

“It was an honor to let Ms. Flamer of Central Elementary know they were awarded the GO Grant,” Ford said in a statement. “I believe in the importance of students experiencing the outdoors, especially in educational environments. I look forward to hearing all about the fifth graders at Central Elementary and their participation in the Muddy Sneakers program.”

Central Assistant Principal Lindsay Merritt said she and Principal Melissa Smith “began shouting in excitement” when Flamer told them she had been awarded the grant because they both understood how “great this opportunity is for the students at Central.”

“As an administrator and former curriculum coach, I understand the importance of science in classrooms and providing opportunities for students to ‘experience’ a hands-on approach,” Merritt said.

The GO Grants are awarded by the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund for Youth Outdoor Heritage Promotion which is administered by the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council. The Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council and Trust Fund were established in 2015 by the North Carolina General Assembly in an effort to expand the opportunities for persons age 16 and under to engage in outdoor recreational and educational activities.

“We are really excited about this adventure, and so incredibly thankful to Senator Ford and the N.C. Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for the opportunity,” Flamer said.