What is the Discovering PLACE program?
Part of the University Outreach department at the University of Michigan-Flint, Discovering PLACE works with Flint-area teachers to implement class projects which connect students with their surroundings. These place-based education (PBE) projects are designed around required curriculum to meet a need in the local community or environment.
Place-based education offers multiple benefits. When youth work alongside community partners on projects with real-world relevance, their understanding of academic matter is enhanced. Students also develop a sense of stewardship toward their community.
Discovering PLACE supports place-based education by providing professional development for locally engaged teachers. As of October 1, 2012, UM-Flint University Outreach is also offering a free video series on place-based education for teachers, parents, and community partners. In addition, the program awards grant funding to local participating teachers for curricular projects which lead to stewardship.
The Discovering PLACE program is supported by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initative (GLSI). Funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, the GLSI is represented by eight hub programs across Michigan which support place-based education in their local regions.