On October 21, 482 4th graders learned about conservation, delta wildlife, habitats, and good stewardship during the 13th annual Great Delta Bear Affair Youth Education Day.
The students came from Sharkey, Issaquena, Yazoo, Warren and Washington counties to spend a day in Rolling Fork rotating through stations staffed by professionals that shared information on a variety of topics with them. Of course they learned about black bears, but the students also learned about alligators and all sorts of other wild creatures as well as littering, recycling, safety, and watershed stewardship.
Terry Vandeventer and his Mississippi snakes program is always popular with the students as is a history and ethics lesson by Case Hicks, our Theodore Roosevelt living historian. Hicks talks about President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous 1902 black bear hunt in Sharkey County, Mississippi – the hunt that led to the naming of stuffed toy bears as Teddy bears.
The festival committee began hosting Youth Education Day in the third year of the Great Delta Bear Affair and it has continued to grow and improve each year. Our hope is that by introducing these students to the topics of conservation and stewardship early, they will carry those lessons with them into adulthood.