Resources For Teachers and Libraries

Nature Meets the Classroom
School Programs

Bring your students to the Yankauer Preserve or Stauffer's Marsh, both in Berkeley County, or have PVAS bring a program to your classroom! Lessons are hands-on, linked to WVCSO’s, and great fun for your students. PVAS offers grade-specific programs for classrooms from pre-K-5th grade. We also offer custom programs upon request for pre-K-8th grade. School class fees for Title 1 Schools are often covered by community scholarships. Insects, Plants v. Animals, Animal Adaptations...check out the complete list of programs (pdf) and call Ellen Murphy, Program Director, for more information or to book a program at 304-676-8739 or

Image of a teacher training program in progress

Set Up A StoryWalk at Your School or Library

StoryWalks are a great way to encourage your students to combine literacy, the outdoors, and health!  Books are posted page-by-page on signs so that students can walk and read.  We'll set up a book around your school on a day you choose and you encourage classes to go out and enjoy reading in a new way.  Check out our StoryWalk site with all the details! Contact volunteer Susannah Olsen to make arrangements.

Teacher Trainings

PVAS occasionally receives grants to lead trainings for local teachers. We can also design a custom program for your team to help increase teachers’ comfort level with teaching outside, using the schoolyard as a classroom, teaching science topics, or integrating environmental education across subject areas. Our staff and volunteers are also certified to lead Growing Up Wild, Project Wild, Project Wild Aquatic, and Flying Wild training sessions. Contact our Program Director, Ellen Murphy, for more information at 304-676-8739 or

Take Your Students Outside

The first step to using your schoolyard to support your already existing lesson plans is to go outside and look!  This guide will help you help your students to connect with nature.  If you are looking for a good field guide for your students, Cornell's Lab of Ornithology can help!


Webcams are a great way for students to watch animals in the wild.  Many of the bird cams are on nesting sites which are most active in the late winter and early spring.  Some cameras are active only at certain times of the year.

You'll find links to several bird webcams here:

The Eagle Cam at NCTC in Shepherdstown is here:

Jordan's Lake in North Carolina also has an Eagle Cam:

Pete's Pond in Botswana, Africa is here:

The National Zoo in Washington, DC has several Animal Cams:

The San Diego Zoo has Animal Cams as well:

The Bear Cam in Ely MN:

Nature Explorer Classroom Kits                        

These two kits, one on birds and one on insects, supply teachers with a classroom set of everything needed to teach about insects or birds. Field guides, children’s stories, activity ideas, binoculars, bug boxes, insect nets, posters, and more can be found in the kits, depending on the theme. Teachers can check out Nature Explorer Classroom Kits from the Shepherdstown Public Library and are available throughout the state through interlibrary loan. Most activities are for geared for grades K-5, but can be adapted for all ages. Scout leaders are welcome to check these out as well.

Nature Explore Backpacks At Local Libraries

PVAS has Nature Explore Backpacks that are given to local libraries for general checkout.  Each backpack has books, resources, and suggested activities for families to use to explore the outdoors. Themes include birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, backyard habitats, nature in winter and mammals (Spring 2015).  Library patrons can check these out with their library card.  Backpacks are made available through a grant from the Nora Roberts Foundation. 

PVAS Programs at Schools and Libraries

PVAS staff and Master Naturalist volunteers are available to present nature-themed programs at local libraries' special events.   Contact Ellen Murphy ( for more information.

Teacher Resources

          © 2014 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director
phone // 304-676-3397

Ellen Murphy, Program Director
phone // 304-676-8739

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
phone // 703-303-1026
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