The “Little Eaglet” idea was hatched by Kiwanis Club of Statesboro member Dan Hagan. Today, thanks to a more than $20,000 contribution by the club, this idea is now a reality.

The new program will create standards-based learning experiences for all Bulloch County Schools elementary students at one of the unique educational outreach centers on the Statesboro Campus of Georgia Southern University.

Under the new program, which is slated to begin in Spring 2023, students in grades 1 through 5 will visit a different Georgia Southern outreach center once a year. Participating centers include:

  • Georgia Southern Museum, where collections, exhibits, and programming interpret the natural and cultural history of Georgia’s coastal plain.
  • Botanic Garden, which features over 11 acres of gardens on an early 20th-century farmstead.
  • Center for Wildlife Education and The Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center, a 17+-acre preserve that is home to many raptors, reptiles, waterfowl, and more.
  • The Georgia Southern University Planetarium, an immersive astronomy laboratory.
  • Gretsch Collection, where the Museum and Gretsch School of Music introduce students to music, musical instruments, and the science of sound.

The Bulloch County Schools have agreed to provide the transportation and the meals, while the funding from the Kiwanis Club will cover admissions to the centers, programming costs, items for the children and an annual celebration at the end of each school year.

 “The Kiwanis Club of Statesboro is excited for this new partnership to provide every first through fifth grader in Bulloch County Schools with access to these enhanced learning experiences at Georgia Southern University,” said John Banter, president of the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro.

Kiwanis Club of Statesboro Members at the noon presentation

Dubbed “Project Eaglet,” the new program is designed to provide a hands-on, cohesive, integrated educational program for local schoolchildren that will fulfill their learning needs while also providing them with positive exposure to a higher education environment.

“I am excited about this new initiative,” said Carl Reiber, Georgia Southern University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “I am a firm believer in hands-on education and feel like there are real benefits from exposing kids to higher education early and often. We need the next generation to see college as a place that’s engaging, interesting and transformational.”

Charles Wilson, superintendent of Bulloch County Schools, agrees.

“We are excited about this collaboration, and the opportunities that it will provide for our elementary school children in first- through fifth-grade,” Wilson said. “This is another great example of community resourcefulness, and how we can partner to provide children with beneficial learning experiences at Georgia Southern. We are thankful to the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro and Georgia Southern University for their support and commitment to our mission of preparing students for success and enhancing the value of our community.” 

Leave a comment