Happy Birds, Happy Faces

 In Environmental Science Grant Program, PVF News, teacher grants

Thanks to our generous donors at the Lampert Byrd Foundation and the Maxwell | Hanrahan Foundation, PVF recently was able to increase the Environmental Science Resource Grant from $500 to $1,000. We saw a need for this change due to ever increasing prices and a higher demand for hands-on environmental education that helps students connect what they learn from their textbooks to real life examples.

We’ve had an amazing response to this and teachers have come to us with a wide array of fun and interesting ways to support their students.

Bill Correll, STEM Teacher at Costano Elementary in East Palo Alto, used his grant to bring “Happy Birds” to Costano for a fun, educational, and interactive parrot show.

“We were able to conduct two assemblies which enabled our entire student population (300+ students in grades TK-5 including special needs students) to see the birds.”


During the visit, students observed bird behavior and how birds adapt to climate and environmental factors. They discussed bird ecosystems and different terrestrial biomes that are specific to which types of birds. They learned about predators, defense mechanisms against predators and how beaks are adapted to different food sources.

Students came away with an understanding of local biological diversity and become more attentive to their local environment in general. This is especially important as Costano and the East Palo Alto community is located on the Baylands, an important habitat and migratory path for many species and types of birds.


“Students were fascinated by the birds and learned about their habitat, diet, specially adapted beaks and the dangers they face from climate change, habitat encroachment and pollution. Our district’s administration was very impressed and thankful that we were given the grant.”

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