Amigos del Desierto
An important part of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's education initiatives is a commitment to serving economically disadvantaged children in the region through our bilingual Amigos del Desierto (Friends of the Desert) program. Funded by the Stonewall Foundation and targeting primarily Hispanic bilingual elementary schools in our community, "Amigos" provides students with a unique continuum of high quality environmental science programs and projects offered, both in their schools and at the Desert Museum, throughout the academic year. Using the Sonoran Desert as a model for teaching a variety of life and earth science topics, our goals are simple: to excite children about science and the natural world by helping them develop a greater respect and understanding of the Sonoran Desert region and our place in it; and to provide Tucson area Spanish-speaking children with quality environmental science education programs.
All education services provided by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Amigos del Desierto program adhere to the following educational objectives. The Amigos program will:
- Be offered to every student in every grade at a participating school with different programs targeted to each grade level (grades K-5).
- Be presented in either/both Spanish and English as requested by the classroom teacher
- Include multiple educational contacts between ASDM instructors and students throughout the school year.
- Incorporate teacher training elements as part of the package.
- Promote family participation in the learning process.
- Coordinate with the existing curriculum of each participating school district.
- Promote extended learning through "Teacher Idea Packets" for each program that include pre- and post-visit activities for teachers, and bilingual student handouts.
- Be taught by ASDM science education staff.
- Be evaluated by participating teachers as well as ASDM staff.
- Promote responsible stewardship of the Sonoran Desert region.