Educational Distance Learning Program
Here at the Elk Country Visitor Center, we understand that not all schools and groups are able to physically come to the center. That is where the Keystone Elk Country Alliance’s innovative and interactive Distance Learning Program comes in! Using a live action software application like Skype or Zoom our education staff is able to connect with classrooms all over the United States to deliver our programs online at NO CHARGE! What’s even better? In addition to our education sessions, each group receives an “Elk Trunk” full of props students can see and touch while learning about elk from us here at the center. No other distance learning program offers this tactile interactive experience, which ignites enthusiasm and a sense of wonder for students of all ages. No student is too young or too old, our trunk has educated those from kindergarten to college as well as other civic groups. Cub Scouts, Senior Citizen Centers, Rotary clubs have all taken part in this unique experience. This program is developed to meet Pennsylvania State Education Standards so it can blend seamlessly into classroom curriculums.
Since its establishment in 2013, KECA’s one-of-a-kind distance learning experience has positively impacted over 11,200 students in 45 Pennsylvania counties and also the states of New York, West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada, Idaho and Florida. In 2019 alone, KECA’s educators taught 3,640 students through this one of a kind program.As this amazing program continues to expand, many more will have the opportunity to cultivate a sense of connectedness to nature, and especially, to elk and their habitat. Teachers keep in mind this program is not just for the little ones, it has been adapted from Pre-K to College!
**UPDATE** We continually strive to improve our distance learning program and this year we are able to through receiving the Stackpole Hall Foundation Grant in May 2020. This grant will be used to purchase Green Screen Technology Equipment that will share Pennsylvania’s Elk Country programs with thousands of students annually. Using the new Green Screen Technology Equipment students will gain a bird’s eye view of the Elk Country Visitor Center, experience exciting elk behavior, and better understand elk ecology and the importance of habitat and wildlife conservation during the Distance Learning Program.
To set up a Distance Learning program, please email our Conservation Education Coordinator, Ben Porkolab, at KECAConEd@windstream.net or our Conservation Education Specialist, Russell Wheeler, at KECAConEdSp@windstream.net
“Thank you for this fabulous opportunity. I wish I could be in the 4th graders’ homes tonight to hear what they shared with their families. One of my students and her family are planning to come to The Elk Center this weekend. She is very excited to show her family what she has learned.” ~Angela Homan, Elementary Teacher
Our Distance Learning program is made possible through the generous support of: