Frequently Asked Questions
What activities are offered by Wild Friends?
Wild Friends offers standards-based science and civics lessons to prepare for the legislative session (fall), an authentic legislative experience (winter), and interactive outdoor/wildlife programming (spring).
What schools does Wild Friends work with?
Wild Friends works with public and charter schools all across the state of New Mexico. We prioritize schools that are Title I, located in a rural geographic area, indigenous schools (or high indigenous population), and bilingual schools (or high bilingual population).
How do the legislative activities work?
During the legislative session, students will be able to draft actual legislation, advocate to legislators, testify in committee hearings, and write letters to legislators. Students must complete required science and civics lessons and a practice session to participate in any legislative activities and attend the field trip to the Roundhouse.
How does Wild Friends choose a legislative topic?
Ultimately, students choose the topic by voting on topic choices. Wild Friends staff chooses topics for students to vote on that are relevant to New Mexico, timely, and have a common ground.
What is the in-class time commitment?
From August - December, the lessons will take about 2-3 hours of class time each month. January - March will take about 10 hours of class time (total), including a field trip to the Roundhouse. Activities in March - May could take about 7 hours (total), depending on what outdoor/wildlife activities you choose for your class.
What will I have to do as the teacher?
Complete all required Wild Friends lessons and participate in legislative activities. Attend the Roundhouse field trip with chaperones. Communicate with us throughout the year for planning purposes to ensure you have the best Wild Friends experience!
Is the program virtual or in-person?
In a normal year, the Roundhouse field trip and our spring activities are in-person. If you want Wild Friends staff to teach any of the lessons we provide, those can be either virtual or in-person.
What costs are covered by Wild Friends for student activities?
Wild Friends will pay for transportation and/or lodging for the Roundhouse field trip, and free t-shirts. We will pay for all outdoor/wildlife activities that we offer in the spring for that year.
Does Wild Friends partner with organizations/non-profits?
Wild Friends enjoys partnering with other organizations that have a connection to the topic choice since it provides a more authentic experience. For example, when we worked on pollinators, we worked with the New Mexico Beekeepers Association. Please reach out if you would like to partner with us!
What is Wild Friends impact?
Since 1991, Wild Friends students have written over two dozen memorials and bills requesting state action on issues that affect wildlife. Wild Friends legislation has a success rate of 70% compared to 20% for most legislation.