McCrary students have embarked on an exciting and educational partnership with the North Carolina Zoo and participate in a project called U.N.I.T.E. "Uganda North Carolina International Teaching for the Environment."
This effort is an interdisciplinary, cross-curricular project that will link schools in both countries. Students will explore the connections between cultural, economic, social, and environmental issues... empowering them to make better choices about how to protect and manage natural resources.
- Engage teachers in the development of a curriculum that explores cultural, economic, social, and environmental connections between North Carolina and Uganda.
- Improve teachers' abilities to facilitate student-centered, inquiry-based, cross-curricular investigations relative to conservation education
- Prepare all students to "think globally" when making personal decisions regarding their own and the planet's future"
The North Carolina Zoo began working in Uganda several years ago helping local communities develop environmentally and economically sound sources of income. As a result, a community group known as (UCOTA) "Uganda Community Tourism Association" was formed in July 1998. The North Carolina Zoo continues to help fund and support this non-governmental organization which is providing hope for improving the lives of rural Ugandans and preserving Uganda's wildlife habitats and natural resources.
UCOTA currently includes 39 communities and has over 2000 members from all parts of the country. UCOTA is actively training members in conservation and providing educational programs that will help develop new sources of income for area communities.
To learn more about the North Carolina Zoo and its conservation programs visit their website. Check out the UNITE Project on the website The NC Zoo UNITE Project, The UNITE Project is funded by the NC Zoological Society and the NC Zoo as well as your donations.
UNITE Club Mission Statement
- The McCrary UNITE Club will use African drumming to help others learn more about our Ugandan partners and their culture.
- We will help teach others about the importance of taking care of the environment.
- We will do our best to make the world a better place for all living things.
The McCrary UNITE Club has implemented a new environmental curriculum. We are participating in the engaging, hands-on Junior Master Gardener Program, (JMG). UNITE Club members are Randolph County's first Junior Master Gardener Chapter. Club members will have the opportunity to earn certificates and pins of recognition for work completed in the JMG Program.
A BIG thank you to Ben Grandon and the NC Cooperative Extension for their support and help with the purchase of curriculum materials.
Local and International Collaboration (Past Project)
The UNITE Club collaborated on a honeybee project with Bigodi Primary School in Uganda, East Africa.
Our goal was to help increase awareness and appreciation of honeybees in our school, community, and across the globe. Did you know you can thank a bee for every third bite of food you eat? You see, they're very important to each and every one of us.
We collaborated with master gardener Bernice Willett to learn how to ensure our school's teaching garden was a bee-friendly garden. She helped us learn how to properly plant and harvest mint leaves. Then, we learned how to dry and blend the mint to create tea.
The Randolph Country chapter of the North Carolina Beekeepers Association has been another important partner in helping us create a bee-friendly environment at our school. They have been a wonderful resource along with the help of Nancy Ruppert, Apiary Inspector from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Another important part of this project included creating a packet of information about what we learned and sharing it with the students at Bigodi Primary School. One of our goals was to help them learn how to make their beekeeping efforts more sustainable.