Chad Richardson, communications director
International Wolf Center
Office: 763-560-7374, ext. 225
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Popular “Wolves at Our Door” Programs, Presented
to More Than 51,000 Minnesotans, Will Continue
Grant funding has ended, but the programs will go on
The International Wolf Center recently concluded a unique, four-year program that taught unbiased lessons about wolves to more than 51,000 people in the state. “Wolves at Our Door” presentations educated and entertained more than 49,000 students and 2,000 state park and library visitors from September 2014 through June 2018.
Funding for the project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust
Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). That funding ceased at the end of June, but based on research results, the International Wolf Center has vowed to continue the program.
Follow-up research conducted by educators indicates that the statewide program was a smashing success.
Educators took before-and-after surveys to gauge how much children knew about wolves and what they learned from the presentations, also measuring attitudes toward wolves held by young people before and after their exposure to the program. The results were impressive.
Using Clicker survey technology, students were surveyed pre-and postprogram to collect data on knowledge of, and attitudes toward, wolves and wolf issues. The resulting data showed an increase ranging from 8 percent to 34 percent, pre-program to post-program, in knowledge of wolf facts, positive attitudes, and understanding of current issues concerning wolves and humans.
“The clear success of the program prompted our board of directors to find a way to continue offering it to schools across the state,” said Rob Schultz, the Center’s executive director. “We’re thrilled that students will continue to receive this educational programming in their classrooms.”
Using engaging video and photos, the PowerPoint-based “Wolves at our Door” covers basic wolf biology, predator-prey dynamics, the role of wolves in healthy ecosystems, myths and opinions about wolves, wolf management and the importance of wildland habitat. Students also learn by handling artifacts such as wolf, deer, and moose bones and pelts.
Here are some of the final numbers from the program:
1,981 – The total number of classrooms in grades 2-12 that had an hour-long classroom presentation.
49,099 – The estimated total number of students who received the programming.
33 – State parks in which programs were presented.
32 – Public libraries that had Wolves at Our Door programs.
52 – The number of Minnesota counties in which there was at least one program.
131 – The number of school districts in which there was at least one program.
Founded in 1985, The International Wolf Center is a Minnesota-headquartered educational non-profit organization. Its mission is to advance the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. The Center educates through its website wolf.org, educational outreach programs, International Wolf magazine, and a beautiful interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota with its live ambassador wolves and exhibits.