• To instill values of ethical stewardship of wildlife and the environment by providing science-based K-12 youth environmental education programs using live, non-releasable animals (reptiles, birds of prey and bats), laboratories and experiential activities.
• To reinforce the values learned through our programs by having students teach what they have learned to a younger "buddy" class.
• To promote a sense of leadership in older students as they mentor younger students.
• To build generations of leaders who find the power of their voices and their actions through advocacy for themselves, their communities, wildlife and the environment.
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Click on the links below or scroll down to learn more about our programs.
IN-SCHOOL YOUTH LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
These programs form the service foundation for Talking Talons. Our capable facilitators, trained in environmental education, substance abuse prevention, leadership theory and behavior intervention techniques, make weekly visits to classrooms of targeted students.
The young trainees, through safe and intimate experiences with TTYL’s collection of rehabilitated non-releasable birds of prey, bats, and reptiles develop a sense of duty to protect and speak in defense of the natural world. Their training in communication and public speaking skills is enhanced by a variety of unique and interactive exercises in team-building, role playing, debate, and lateral thinking.
The culmination of their work is (a) active participation in outreach presentations to their peers and other community groups, in which they speak and demonstrate with the live animals, and (b) a group conservation / service-learning project that leaves a lasting benefit to the school or larger community. School based programs typically last the entire school year and are integrated with science or special education curriculums. These programs, through rigorous evaluation, have been shown to effect significant positive changes in the areas of self esteem, knowledge, and attitudes towards science and school. Conversely, TTYL interventions also are effective in reducing common risk factors such as violent tendencies, stress, impulsivity, and rebelliousness. Parent/child days are also included throughout the school year extending the program to the family domain.
IN-FIELD YOUTH LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
With Field-Based Programs, local schools and community groups attend field trips to our Biological Field Study Station and other diverse outdoor "classrooms" to conduct ecological monitoring and activities related to forest ecology and management.
Hands-on activities include:
• GPS use and geocaching
• Topographic map reading
• Watershed education
• Rangeland health evaluation
• Native flora and fauna identification and importance
• Active drainage and erosion mapping
• Soil percolation rate studies
• Tree bore sampling and tree-ring reading instruction
• Archaeological surveys using mock artifacts
• Ecological monitoring and forest ecology education
• Environmental job skills development
Special attention is paid to updating our curriculum modules to include current events that directly impact our wildlife, our environment and the stewardship opportunities available to our community.
YOUTH/YOUNG ADULT EMPLOYMENT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The logical next step in human development extends into the domain of employment. Each year, TTYL works to secure funding to hire young adults (ages 14 to 25) for paid positions in environmental stewardship. For many participants, this represents their first employment experience. For other older students with more supervisory experience.
Crew Leader positions offer exciting people management challenges. The work requirement is approximately 30 hours/week for six month periods. Projects, which occur at the Leadership Center and in the community, are varied, challenging, and skill building. From summer camp counseling to critical habitat restoration on public lands, participants walk away with a renewed sense of civic responsibility and, possibly, new career directions. Educational and training workshops such as tool use and construction and public speaking are offered to the recruits.
EDUCATIONAL WILDLIFE PRESENTATIONS AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Occurring throughout the year, youth and staff transport the wildlife to schools, nursing homes, community groups and special events for an unforgettable one-hour discussion of environmental issues using the animals as living examples of how we have the power to squander or conserve our natural resources. Shows are adapted to varying age groups, special needs or topics of interest. Other forms of outreach include guided interpretive hikes in our CFRP tract in the Cibola National Forest.
Would you like a fun, dynamic and highly educational experience for your classroom, youth group, scout troop, or other community gathering? Talking Talons can attend your class or event with several species of hawks, falcons, owls, bats, and reptiles. Each animal holds a story that speaks of environmental issues and the human relationship with the natural world.
Many of the animals at TTYL are rehabilitated but non-releasable due to the injuries they sustained. Others have imprinted upon humans and would not survive in the wild. The live animals we bring to the presentation provide a unique opportunity for discover, understanding, and connection.
We tell the story of each animal and talk about how we can all help make sure other animals do not get injured.
We also talk about the species, including:
• Characteristics of that group
• Hunting and feeding
• Mating and reproduction
• Conservation Issues
• Human and Animal Connections
TTYL is also available for booths at your events. We bring a variety of animals and literature, depending on the event. TTYL animals are popular for education at school-based events, including family nights, science fairs, and community events. Seeing the birds, bats and reptiles up close at one of our booths is a unique opportunity!
Contact Us for more information or to schedule. The sooner you book your event, the more likely we will be able to fulfill your request.
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