TurfMutt Science Curriculum Begins National Rollout to Thousands of U.S. Schools, Says Weekly Reader and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s Education and Research Foundation

April 19, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 19 /PRNewswire/ – The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) today announced the national rollout of the TurfMutt educational outreach program to 25,000 schools across the country. The TurfMutt education program teaches third through fifth grade students the science behind green spaces’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), release oxygen, cool the air, control dust, reduce erosion and filter water.

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The ‘face’ of the TurfMutt science-based youth curriculum is a real rescue dog, Lucky, who turns into TurfMutt, a caped crusader who champions creating and caring for green spaces in a responsible way.

The TurfMutt curriculum includes science-based experiments on seed starting, photosynthesis and water absorption, worksheets, and a Web game for youth. Parents and teachers can learn more about the TurfMutt education program and see samples at www.TurfMutt.com as well as check out TurfMutt’s blog site on both green spaces and how to help other rescue dogs, like TurfMutt. Fans may also follow TurfMutt via Twitter @Turfmutt and his own Facebook Fan Page.

In 2009, Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA area schools were the first to receive an array of educational materials from Weekly Reader, a publishing company that produces standards-based, research-proven resources to support the development of academic vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing skills, and fluency for all learners.

One school in Sacramento, CA – Herman Leimbach Elementary – participated in the TurfMutt program and subsequently won the TurfMutt Poster Contest which asked students to design a poster that illustrated how they and their family could help create and save green spaces. The first place winner, for example, drew a picture of their family watering grass only during the early morning hours to use water wisely.

“We are always looking for activities and tools that supplement the class work in an engaging way,” said Jenny Williams, 4th grade teacher at Herman Leimbach Elementary. “The TurfMutt science program allowed students to learn about science in a new, exciting way.”

“We were pleased and encouraged by the first phase of the program. And, now that Spring is in full bloom, the TurfMutt science program can really make an impact and help teachers create experiments and lessons on plant growth and water conservation,” said Kris Kiser, EVP at OPEI. “We’ve made a concerted effort to include more information and science lessons on how to conserve water, and how one can balance growing green, oxygen producing plants while being water-wise, and appropriate plant selection, which means the right plants at the right time in the right place.”

“We are delighted to partner with OPEI in bringing important environmental concepts to life — in time for Earth Day. It’s a hands-on learning program with experiments, reading content, material for parents, and games – digital and in print. Students and their families get an understanding of the great value of green spaces – and it all starts in their backyards,” said Bridget Johnson, publisher, Weekly Reader Custom Publishing.

About Weekly Reader Custom Publishing

Weekly Reader Custom Publishing is the recognized leader in developing unique educational programs sponsored by corporations, nonprofit associations and government agencies. Weekly Reader Publishing Group, founded in 1902, is a leader in educational publishing. Weekly Reader® publishes 12 magazines and a variety of other supplemental products that reinforce curriculum, help teachers meet standards, and engage students. Every one of the magazines has won numerous awards for excellence in educational journalism. Weekly Reader Publishing Group is part of the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. For more information visit www.weeklyreadercustompub.com/mediakit

About the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

OPEI is an international trade association representing the $15 billion landscape, forestry, utility and lawn and garden equipment manufacturing industry. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety standards. Founded in 1952, OPEI represents and promotes the outdoor power equipment industry and ensures the public may continue to benefit from the economic, lifestyle and environmental contributions of lawns and landscapes. For more information on OPEI, visit www.OPEI.org.

SOURCE Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

Source: newswire

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