Grants for Local Teachers (VEE Grant)
In 2007, the organizing committee began awarding environmental education grants to elementary school teachers in the festival's home area of Gloucester County, New Jersey. These grants are called VEE, which is short for Vulturefest Environmental Education. Awards of up to $200 are made to support educational programs and activities. In 2010, grants were made to support participation in the EIRC's Voices from the Land project. The approved grants for 2010 were:
15th, 2008, Festival chairman Rich Dilks
(shown at right with a plastic vulture) presented the first VEE
Grant award to Pat Harmon, then a 6th grade teacher at Wenonah Elementary
Harmon received $500 to further the stream studies field trips she led to the Mantua
Creek in town. For over 15 years, these trips allowed her students
to measure first-hand the biological health and chemical makeup of the local
watershed. In addition to their educational benefits, these trips helped
foster a sense of pride in the local environment.
Community Educational Presentations
In conjunction with the 2008 Festival, we brought The Center for Birds of Prey to the area to provide special educational presentations at elementary schools in Camden, New Jersey. These school presentations were funded with the generosity of the Campbell Soup Foundation; the Festival gratefully acknowledges its support and interest. The Festival and its sponsoring organizations are proud to have joined together with The Center for Birds of Prey and the Campbell Soup Foundation in making these enriching experiences for young people possible and in expanding their awareness of the wonders of the natural world.