Cristina LaRue’s love of nature flourished the summer after kindergarten at an Audubon camp where she spent her days running through the woods, examining salamanders, learning birdcalls and digging for bugs. For the last seven years, Cristina has committed herself to the fields of education and conservation, through a year of service with CIty Year, by obtaining a Master’s of Education degree, and by experiences teaching in the field at Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, on the farm at The Farm Institute, and in the classroom at Greenwich Country Day School and at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School (MVPCS).
Cristina, who teaches third grade at MVPCS, was awarded a 2015 Vision Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning at Lesley University. This course of study combines Cristina’s two passions, the environment and teaching, and will give her the opportunity to deepen her understanding of ecological and sustainable practices and how she can integrate them across content areas in the elementary classroom.
Cristina’s Vision Fellowship award is also supporting her work with Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary where she is designing, implementing and evaluating a natural history docent-training program that will engage a broad spectrum of the Island community in learning about Martha’s Vineyard ecology and environment. The desired outcome is to create, nurture and support a network of citizen naturalists whose knowledge and appreciation of nature and ecology on the Island will spread throughout the Island community.