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Next museum program to feature Kansas birds

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The next Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum event at Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum will be an intergenerational program meant for all ages, and will follow the theme of the museum’s current temporary exhibit, “Meet the Beak,” which remains open through Jan. 20.

Joyce Lent from the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita will bring a live bird to the museum and give a talk on the bird’s life habits Sunday, Jan. 13, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. “You’ll have to come to the program to find out which bird Joyce brings,” says Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator for education. “It will depend on which bird is in the best mood that day.” Lent generally works with birds of prey such as owls and hawks.

All Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum events are free and open to the public.

Lent was born and raised in Wichita and earned a B.A. in elementary education from Friends University. Her graduate studies at Bethel College, Wichita State University, Emporia State University and Friends University have included science and prairie ecology.

As a youngster, Lent enjoyed family camping trips in Colorado and visiting Kansas lakes for picnics and exploring, interests that eventually led her to volunteer for both the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service and Kauffman Museum. As a member of the Kansas Herpetological Society, Lent also assists with reptile and amphibian surveys in Cowley and Sedgwick Counties.

Lent was employed between 1970-88 as a primary-grade classroom teacher at Fairmount, Washington and Payne Elementary Schools in Wichita. In 1988, she became a teaching specialist through the Science Curriculum Department. As part of the Energy Ecology Program based at Earhart Environmental Magnet School in Wichita, she worked with children and teachers throughout the district.

The environmental portion of this program was then moved to Great Plains Nature Center, and after Lent retired from USD 259 in 2002, she remained at the center. She is now employed as a naturalist for the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center.

Since 1997, Lent has taught a summer session of Uncle Carl’s Camp at Kauffman Museum, focusing on prairie education for kindergarten through second grade. This summer, she will teach “Birds of a Feather...” June 2-6. “Many campers come back year after year to spend a week learning about the prairie with Joyce,” said Andres. “Her love of teaching and nature comes through whenever she presents a program, whether it is with children or adults.”

Kauffman Museum is located on the Bethel College campus at 27th and Main in North Newton. Regular museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children ages 6-16. More information is available by calling the museum at 316-283-1612.

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