Resources for Educators

$250 Mini-Grants

Deadline: February 8, 2019

Our mini-grants provide support to Champaign County educators who want to bring environmental education to their students. 

Send application via:

  • Email


  • Mail:
    CCAS Mini-Grant c/o Pam Leiter
    2573 S Homer Lake Rd
    Homer, IL 61849

Grants are available to educators within Champaign County only. Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the Audubon Education Committee. The final choices will be made by the Champaign County Audubon Board of Directors. Only one grant will be awarded to any educator.

Some suggestions are: classroom equipment, books, guest speakers, outdoor learning areas & gardens, field trip costs, professional development, etc. Be creative!

Sponsors Needed!

Generous donations to our Education Fund allow CCAS to provide support for local classrooms each year. If you would like to donate toward the fund, please send a check made out to CCAS to PO Box 882, Urbana, IL 61803-0882. On the memo line, please write ‘Education Fund.’

Audubon Adventures Classroom Kits - FREE!

2018-19 Theme: "Get to Know Birds"

Teachers: request a FREE kit by  Friday, Sept 14, 2018
If you would like to request a kit, please contact Pam Leiter, CCAS Education Chair or call (217) 896-2455. Please include: teacher name(s), school name & address, email addresses, and grade(s) taught.

Audubon Adventures is an educational kit for 3rd grade and up classrooms, developed by the National Audubon Society. 

CCAS sponsors a limited number of these kits each fall for Champaign County teachers.

The kit includes both printed student resources and online content for three standalone learning units: 

  • Get to Know Birds

    Main Lesson: Students will learn how to use field marks to describe and identify the birds they see in their own neighborhoods. Readings, group activities, and online games, puzzles, and quizzes build children’s’ reasoning skills by showing how a bird’s physical characteristics—especially its feet, legs, and beak—reveal what that bird eats and where and how it gets its food. This lesson uses the diversity of birds to introduce and demonstrate how birds—like all living things—are adapted for survival in their particular natural habitat.

  • Hooray for Hummingbirds

    Main Lesson: How natural systems function and adapt. Everyone is fascinated with hummingbirds, which is why we chose this bird as a “case study” for natural systems. The lesson teaches students how specialized bills and hovering skills are connected to hummingbirds’ ability to feed, how hummingbirds help plants reproduce by transporting pollen from flower to flower, and about the amazing migratory feats of these tiny powerhouses.

  • Birds Need Plants and Plants Need Birds

    Main Lesson: The delicate balance of ecosystems. Students will learn why native birds need native plants and why native plants need native birds—and the harm done when a non-native species is introduced into the mix. This lesson explains that organisms develop interdependent relationships as they evolve alongside particular other organisms. For birds, native plants are a food source, protection from predators, and home; for native plants, birds serve as pollinators and pest control.

The kit also includes:

  • 32 copies of each of classroom magazine sets: Get to Know Birds, Hooray for Hummingbirds! and Birds Need Plants, Plants Need Birds
  • Access to the digital teaching units on the three themes, plus ten other teaching modules
  • Opportunities to participate in service learning and community science projects, such as the Great Backyard Bird Count
  • Classroom participation certificates
  • Parent and Teacher Guides

Sponsors Needed!

Generous donations from our members to our Education Fund allow CCAS to support environmental education in local classrooms each year. If you would like to sponsor an Audubon Adventures kit for one or more classrooms, please send a check made out to CCAS to PO Box 882, Urbana, IL 61803-0882. On the memo line, write ‘Education Fund.’ A donation of $50 covers one kit.

Loan Kits

Bird Adaptation Loan Kit

Enhance your lessons on bird adaptations by exploring the types of beaks, eggs and feet that help birds survive! This kit includes replicas of bird skulls, eggs and tracks, as well as hands-on activities, and is appropriate for grades K-12.

To Reserve the Loan Kit:
Contact Pam or call  (217) 896-2455.

Loan box can be reserved for 2 weeks.

It is housed at the Homer Lake Interpretive Center at Homer Lake Forest Preserve. Special arrangements can be made if you cannot pick it up at that location.

Detailed List of Contents: 

  • Background info about bird adaptations
  • 6 Activities and their supplemental materials

Skull replicas: 

  • Domestic Duck
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Cardinal
  • Hummingbird

Feet replicas: 

  • Wood Duck
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Pheasant
  • Blue Jay

Egg replicas: 

  • Mallard Duck
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Cardinal
  • Hummingbird
  • Penguin

Clay Egg Shapes

Purple Martin Audio-Visual Loan Materials

Curious about Purple Martins? This book, DVD and more will help your group learn more about them!


  • What You Should Know About the Purple Martin 
    by J.L. Wade


  • Purple Martin Morning Vocalizations
    Produced by
     Nature House Inc.


  • The Purple Martin Carol
    Produced by Arcand Video


  • Purple Martin Dawn Song For Attracting Martins
    Produced by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
  • Purple Martins
    Produced byThree Coast Emporium
  • Sounds of Purple Martins
    Produced by Dr. J.W. Hardy, Florida State Museum

To Reserve These Materials:
Contact Pam or call (217) 896-2455.

You can reserve any of the above materials for up to two weeks.

Items are located at the Homer Lake Interpretive Center at Homer Lake Forest Preserve. Special arrangements can be made if you cannot pick them up at that location.

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