Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester’s “SMART Girls” Get Hands-On at Westmoreland Sanctuary Summer Science Program
Program funded by The Running Goddess 5K
Mount Kisco, N.Y. (July 18, 2014) – For the second year in a row, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester’s SMART Girls are spending their summer learning the basics of field research at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco. Through the kindness of the local organization, The Running Goddess, the SMART Girls program – a small health, fitness, and education enhancement program for girls between the ages of 8 and 17 – has been afforded the opportunity to participate in this month-long exploratory science program.
In June, The Running Goddess – an organization that provides opportunities to women and girls to excel in life through education and health – held a 5K to benefit the Boys & Girls Club’s SMART Girls and other female charities, donating partial proceeds to fund the summer science program. The Running Goddess held its first 5K to benefit SMART Girls in 2013.
“Through Westmoreland Sanctuary’s environmental science program, our Club members – who haven’t been widely exposed to flora and fauna – are learning key insights about the environment through hiking and exploration. What they’ll take away is an appreciation for nature and perhaps a love for environmental studies,” said Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Executive Director Brian Skanes. “Thanks to The Running Goddess’s generosity and initiative, this is all possible.”
About 24 girls are participating this summer, learning hands-on field research skills and the basics of environmental studies through the guidance of Rachel Diersen, Westmoreland’s education director, and other Westmoreland Sanctuary staff. The girls are absorbing memorable skills like how to safely catch and release birds as well as learn how to identify native birds through song, habitat, and migration patterns. Other areas of study include turtle monitoring, butterfly and dragonfly surveying, identifying native plants and animals, and detecting environmental trends.
“The SMART Girls program at Westmoreland is a great chance to bring the environment to life for young girls,” Diersen said. “It’s one thing to read about animals in a book, but to hold one in your hands and watch it move is a completely different experience. These girls have the chance to do field work, complete their own research projects, and become real environmental scientists for a month.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester’s SMART Girls summer science program runs every Wednesday afternoon from July 2 through August 6.
About 24 girls are participating in the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester’s SMART Girls summer science program, held every Wednesday through August 6 at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco. The girls are learning hands-on field research skills and the basics of environmental studies through the guidance of Rachel Diersen, Westmoreland’s education director (pictured, center). Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester SMART Girls program participants observe aquatic life at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco Wednesday, July 16.
Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester SMART Girls program participants enjoy the pond at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco Wednesday, July 16.
Westmoreland Sanctuary Education Director Rachel Diersen shows a Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester SMART Girl how to scan for aquatic life at Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco Wednesday, July 16. About the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester
Celebrating its 75th year, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester remains dedicated to its mission to inspire and enable young people, especially those who need it most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. A non-profit organization established in 1939, the Club has served more than 100,000 youth and welcomed nearly 10,000 volunteers, staff and board members over the years. Located in Mt. Kisco, NY, the Club’s 36,000-square-foot facility features an eight-lane pool, Child Care Center, gymnasium, game room and two computer labs, and an additional 1,600-foot Teen Center facility. The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester currently serves 1,700 boys and girls ages 6 months to 18 years, from more than 60 Northern Westchester communities. The Club has been ranked among the outstanding Clubs in the national network of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.