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Says One Dallas ISD Teacher, the Trinity River Audubon Center Is An Act of "Pure Genius"

Former Unfair Park-er Alexa Schirtzinger sure dug her some nature, if you recall. So it's not surprising she shows up in the latest issue of Audubon talking up the Trinity River Audubon Center. But she also tells the tale of how a teacher at Rufus C. Burleson Elementary School on Elam Road is using the joint to school her students on science. That would be fifth-grade teacher Bridget Williams, who, with the center's education director, Ben Jones, is trying to do something about the fact that fewer than half of her kids met the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills standards last year. Writes Alexa:

After those test scores came out, Williams realized she had to rethink the way her school teaches science, and last fall she started working with Jones and the Trinity River Audubon Center to make her science curriculum more participatory. "Everything just can't be done inside the classroom," Williams says now. At the Audubon center, she explains, her students "gain a lot of knowledge about habitats, ecology, the birds just by going. It's like real life to them," she adds, "not just hearing it from the teachers." The fact that the center sits just blocks away from where her students study and play is, in Williams's view, an act of "pure genius."

Accompanying her lengthy piece for the magazine is this Web-only sidebar about "an astronomy class at the Trinity River Audubon Center [that] introduces Dallasites to the stars above and the nocturnal animals below." Field trip?

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