The first Bahamas National Trust Discovery Club was started in 2011 and is open to children ages 7-12 from anywhere on the island. Club members earn badges for knowledge gained about ecosystems and species over a 6-8 week period during the school year. The club emphasizes time outdoors and service projects which connect people and their environment. Each year our club has 15-25 members.
The Eco-Schools Program is the largest sustainable schools program in the world operating in over 50 countries across the globe. The Bahamas Eco-Schools is administered by our partner the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation. The Exuma Foundation acts on the ground in Exuma to help schools and provide assistance when needed to schools wishing to earn a Green Flag through the Eco-Schools program. We anticipate that our first school will be recognized in 2018.
Our approach to environmental education is experiential at heart with lessons that incorporate curriculum learning objectives into fun outdoor activities. We now support gardens in 5 primary schools and offer field trips year round to our campus as well as Moriah Harbour Cay National Park.
The Exuma Foundation's environmental education program began as an effort to reinforce natural science curriculum in the Ministry of Education's Primary Schools (1st-6th grades) on the island. It has since expanded and evolved to meet the requests for more hands on learning opportunities for students of all ages. One of the program's strengths is our partnerships with national and international organizations that promote environmental literacy and stewardship. For example, we were the first to establish a Bahamas National Trust Discovery Club on the island. Through field trips, school gardens, organization of events and the on the island, and exploration of new "green" initiatives, we hope to foster a generation of young people connected to their natural world and to their communities.