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Junior Duck Stamp segment to air on WGCU

By Staff | Apr 29, 2009

“In 1989, an art teacher at Sanibel Elementary School decided to further her students’ involvement in conservation. The school sits back-to-back with J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, named for the man who designed the first duck stamp and started the duck stamp program in 1934 to raise funds to purchase refuge lands. ‘Ding’ Darling is headquarters for today’s Florida Junior Duck Stamp contest and Jaye Boswell, that elementary school art teacher, helps judge the contests.”

So begins a segment on the Junior Duck Stamp Program that will air on WGCU Public TV for the first time on Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. It is part of a CONNECT! Series Arts episode.

Interviews with Jaye Boswell, the program’s Florida coordinator Refuge Ranger Toni Westland, 2008-09 Florida winner Olivia Stauffer, and Naples art teacher Jennifer Johannes-Heck reveal the program’s humble beginnings and importance in teaching kids about the value of wetlands and the Federal Duck Stamp Program.

“It’s an interdisciplinary program,” explains Westland in the segment, “where they learn about science and art together – hopefully to make them future stewards of the land.”

A WGCU camera followed Westland into an East Naples Middle School art classroom as she got students excited and started on their waterfowl portraits. She talked further about the program on WGCU Radio earlier this week.

More than 50,000 students across the country participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Program started here on Sanibel. A panel of judges selected the painting submitted by 16-year-old Lily Spang of Toledo, Ohio on April 22 as this year’s winner of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, held in Washington, D.C.

The Junior Duck Stamp segment will re-air throughout the weekend at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 p.m. on Sunday. After that, it can be viewed at

www.wgcu.org.