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Bird School Project

Organization Mission

The Bird School Project uses outdoor experiential learning to inspire and equip students and teachers to love, study, and steward their local environment.

We provide outdoor education about birds to students directly on their schoolyards, making nature and a bit of wilderness easily revisited. Students grow an appreciation for the unexpected and a love for nature.

The Big Idea:
Helping Schools Reopen With Outdoor Learning!

The Bird School Project aims to relaunch our popular schoolyard program to help schools utilize outdoor spaces on campuses to welcome students back to school.

Students build skills in focus, direct observation, meaning-making, arguing from evidence, and collaborating with peers — and benefit further from the research-based healing effects of time spent outdoors. Observations of real-time happenings in nature generate a sense of connection with other living organisms, and lower stress about school, peer groups, or family life among diverse youth.

Funds raised during Santa Cruz Gives will allow Bird School to provide outdoor learning experiences that are inspiring and healing in communities that have been most negatively impacted by the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the wildfires.

Our main program supplements middle school life science classes. Four weeks of school visits include guided, on-campus bird walks; use of binoculars; close examination of museum specimens; and the use of a field journal in which students learn to record their observations creatively.

Bird School is an interactive and effective way for students to experience hands-on, place-based environmental education. Hearing the conversations about birds and observations after this unit is something I really enjoy.

Elise Jacobs, 5th grade teacher at Bradley Elementary