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TurfMutt Science Program From Discovery Education And OPEI Foundation Adds Family-Focused Activities To Help Children Explore And Appreciate Green Spaces

SILVER SPRING, Md. and ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Discovery Education and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's Education and Research Foundation today announced a series of new educational and activity features for TurfMutt, a science-based program featuring standards-aligned curriculum, which teaches K-5 students how things grow, the value of personal and community outdoor space and how to tend to them in a sustainable way.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/PH08564LOGO )

A redesigned website (TurfMutt.com) allows TurfMutt to reach both educators and families through an expanded digital experience, including: 

  • A new "Families" Page shares the importance of backyards, parks, school yards and other community outdoor spaces, and presents ideas on how to foster healthy growth. The page includes family-focused activity guides, such as creating an outdoor compost area, collecting rainwater, attracting birds and going on a carbon footprint scavenger hunt.
  • An updated TurfMutt "Educators Page" with expanded lesson plans and activities for elementary teachers to implement with their students.
  • A new "TurfMutt Blog" on the home page, presenting a range of information and resources to help families and students care for and enjoy their outdoor green spaces.

To help drive value and raise awareness of TurfMutt , Discovery Education and OPEI will also collaborate to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to air in local markets and online that talks about the importance of caring for green spaces in a sustainable way.

"TurfMutt has evolved into a turn-key educational program for both schools and home," said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. "K-5 teachers and families can access expanded activities and resources to encourage outdoor exploration and tips on how to care for backyards, parks, school yards and personal green space in communities across the country."

Discovery Education and OPEI are also launching the second annual "Spruce Up Your School" sweepstakes in which educators can enter to win a $5,000 grant to expand or develop their school's outdoor space. The annual national sweepstakes is aimed at K-5 educators across the country.  Last year, Ms. Mary Anne Arabia's fifth grade class from Palomar Elementary School in Chula Vista, Calif., was named the Grand Prize winner and received a $5,000 grant, which was used to provide much-needed shade and seating by planting trees and installing benches in their school's outdoor play area.

"The TurfMutt program has had an incredible influence and reach in schools across the country, already with approximately one million students impacted since its inception in 2011," said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president. "We are pleased to continue building and expanding on this partnership alongside OPEI as we encourage students to explore their curiosity in the environment that surrounds them every day."

The TurfMutt program continues to earn accolades for its outreach efforts. The Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Education Program – Teacher Resources and Lessons Plans websites list the TurfMutt program as a valued educational resource.

For more information, visit TurfMutt.com.

About Discovery EducationDiscovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by providing high quality, dynamic, digital content for grades K-12 and community colleges. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital media, professional development, assessment tools and a passionate educator network to support districts in accelerating student achievement. Discovery Education services like Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Techbook and Discovery Education Higher Ed, are in more than half of all US schools and 35 countries around the world.  Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About OPEIThe Outdoor Power Equipment Institute ( OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 84 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety and performance standards. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org.

About the OPEI Education & Research FoundationThe OPEI Education & Research Foundation works to develop educational materials, support research and further programs to foster environmental stewardship and an appreciation of our parks, forests, lawns and landscapes.  The Foundation's priorities revolve around environmental best practices and stewardship in the care and enjoyment of our green spaces and safety education that ensures safe and proper use of outdoor power equipment. 

SOURCE OPEI Education & Research Foundation

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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