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Posted on: September 17, 2019

Yuba Water Agency provides water education programming, materials for local schools

A teacher standing in front of her students and a fish tank

Water-related educational programming is finding its way to classrooms throughout Yuba County, as Yuba Water Agency ramps up plans to build a first-class, river-front water education center.

At today’s meeting of the agency’s board of directors, funding was approved for two educational programs, adding to the mix of other offerings the agency is already supporting, in an effort to enhance the educational experience for Yuba County students..

Yuba-Sutter Arts - Learning Science Through Art program - $46,704

The board approved a $46,704 grant for Yuba-Sutter Arts’ new Learning Science Through Art water education program, which will teach local students about the Yuba River through science and art projects.

The water agency and Yuba-Sutter Arts have collaborated on this program to supplement the second and third grade curriculums at 23 Yuba County schools, to include more science and art-based projects that meet state education requirements, and ultimately bring further awareness about the environment and Yuba River.

“This program will help build a bridge between art and core science curriculum,” said Abbie Cesena, Yuba Sutter Arts managing director. “Creativity provides a natural link to critical thinking and helps provide a path to understanding subject matter that may otherwise be challenging,” she added.

The funding from Yuba Water Agency will be used to hire teaching artists and purchase the necessary materials for students. 

Water-related educational items for Olivehurst Public Utility District - $20,000

A $20,000 grant approved today provides funding to help Olivehurst Public Utility District purchase water-related educational items in support of the Education Outreach Program, which is part of the California Department of Water Resources Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program. 

Yuba Water Agency facilitates the grant from DWR that funds the program, which complements Olivehurst schools’ existing core curriculum, while assisting teachers and students in learning more about water, where it comes from, how to conserve it, and whether or not it is sanitary. OPUD is one of the partners involved in delivering the program.

The goal is to improve student learning in the areas of water access, availability, conservation and ecosystems, as well as to inspire the next generation of youth to be aware and knowledgeable when it comes to the water they drink. 

Yuba Water’s funding allows OPUD to purchase educational literature, four water-filling stations for schools, water bottles for students, water shoes for field trips to the river, and other items that are not covered in the initial grant from DWR.

“We have been told that in some cases, the students only have one pair of shoes,” said Yuba Water Agency Director Doug Lofton. “We want to show these students the importance of water, but don’t want the program and field trips to be a burden on them if their shoes are ruined on the Salmon Expedition field trips. Providing items like water shoes will allow them to focus on their experience without having to worry about their own personal items.” 

Yuba Water Agency is able to fund efforts like these because they educate the public about the agency’s mission areas. 

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