Training Teens as Teachers

Our terrific group of peer mentors!

Twelve bilingual (Spanish-English) high school students from Corvallis joined MRWC and the Institute for Applied Ecology for a three-day peer mentor workshop on August 27, 28, and 29th to learn about watershed health and how to be peer mentors. The workshop is part of the larger Willamette-Laja Twinning Partnership, which connects 3rd grade students in Guanajuato, Mexico with dual language (Spanish-English) immersion 3rd grade students at Garfield and Lincoln elementary schools in Corvallis to learn about the Willamette River and the Rio Laja in Mexico. The workshop took place at Bald Hill Farm, a 587-acre farm owned and protected by Greenbelt Land Trust.

On the first day, students rotated through four stations: bird identification, plant identification, terrestrial insects, and aquatic invertebrates. By first participating in the lessons, the students learned the important topics and tips on how to teach it to younger students.

The second day began with the “Teens as Teachers” workshop, led by Maggie Livesay of OSU Extension, where students discussed teaching strategies and learning styles. Afterwards the students were separated into teaching groups and were able to practice their lessons before presenting it to the other groups and receiving peer feedback. Lessons were presented in English and Spanish!

As a celebration of the students’ hard work, and to observe watershed dynamics firsthand, the third day was a canoe trip on the Willamette River! Led by two guides from OSU’s Adventure Leadership Institute, the group canoed down the river for several hours, with breaks for educational activities and additional aquatic invertebrate identification.

This new group of peer mentors will be volunteering in 3rd grade classrooms throughout the year and will lead the lessons during 3rd grade field trips to Bald Hill Farm in the spring.

Thank you, students, for all your enthusiasm and work!

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