Science Program Receives Boost in Martins Ferry

WHEELING — Oglebay Institute will use the $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley and its affiliate, the Smith-Goshen Rice Enrichment Fund, to fund an environmental science program at Martins Ferry Middle School.

The goal of the REACH Environmental Education program is to help students develop understanding and knowledge of important scientific concepts such as energy flow, matter cycling, biodiversity, ecosystem interrelationships, adaptations for survival and human impact. With an increased understanding of these processes, students gain a stronger awareness of the natural world around them and are more likely to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors.

Through this support, Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Education Center will deliver the REACH program to 100 fifth-graders in Martins Ferry. Each classroom will receive up to seven visits by Schrader Center naturalists and participate in a variety of standards-based, hands-on environmental education programs.

“The REACH program helps create the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Oglebay Institute director of development Micah Underwood. “The program has been ongoing in fifth-grade classrooms in Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia with extremely positive results. We are thrilled to expand the program into Belmont County through this generous support from the Smith-Goshen Rice Enrichment Fund.”

The Smith-Goshen Rice Enrichment Fund was created in 2013 by a group of landowners along with Rice Energy in Belmont County to give back to the community. The fund awards annual grants addressing a variety of needs through a competitive application process.