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Sarah Lawrence College Center for Urban River at Beczak Unveils Three Rivers Curriculum

Yonkers, NY April 28, 2016 –After eight years in the making, Sarah Lawrence College today unveiled an exciting new river-focused curriculum for elementary school students in Westchester designed by the college’s Center for Urban River and Yonkers Schools.

The “Three Rivers of Yonkers,” a curriculum guide with six interdisciplinary units of study, shows educators how they can use the Hudson, Bronx, and Saw Mill Rivers to stimulate 4th and 5th grade students’ interest in science at a young age. The curriculum units align with the NY State Common Core Learning Standards.

The initiative was launched on Thursday when teachers from across Westchester gathered at the Center for Urban River in Yonkers for a workshop on how to use the curriculum in their classrooms and in the outdoors.

Ryan Palmer, director of the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB), said the curriculum guide would be distributed to all 31 Yonkers elementary schools, and would also be available for use by other school districts.

“As an organization that promotes environmental education, our hope is that these curriculum units will also motivate students to develop life-long habits of environmental citizenship,” he said.

The curriculum objectives are to increase students’ awareness of the three rivers complex ecology, geology, and historical significance and to teach critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making skills. While it is designed for 4th and 5th grade, it can be adapted to other elementary grades.

“I am excited to see the completion of this curriculum which will provide a relevant resource and teaching tool to engage the students from local river communities and schools to support and implement environmental curriculum into the classrooms,”  Vicky Garufi, Director of Education for the Center for Urban River.

The curriculum was created by a team of teachers from Yonkers Public Schools with support and guidance from the district’s administration, and staff from the former Beczak Environmental Education Center and CURB. The project was funded in part by Yonkers Raceway through the resolution of an enforcement action against the raceway brought by the New York State Attorney General.

The Three Rivers Curriculum is available for download here…. http://www.centerfortheurbanriver.org/education/teachers/3rivers.html


About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence College is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country, Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, for its long history of impassioned, intellectual engagement, and for its vibrant, successful alumni. For more information, please visit www.sarahlawrence.edu.