While the Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) is known for its medical care to injured, orphaned, or sick Wisconsin wildlife, the education opportunities we provide are of equal importance. We believe that education is the key to creating generations dedicated to the preservation of our wildlife.  Our passionate educators and animal ambassadors give over 160 programs and educate more than 26,000 people each year. These programs enrich any classroom and engage students and adults of all ages with the opportunity to observe these amazing creatures up close.  Even the most knowledgeable wildlife enthusiasts walk away from one of our programs having learned something new and exciting about Wisconsin’s wildlife!

Please understand that our educators will choose ambassadors based on theme, location, weather, and animal welfare. If you have a specific request, we will do our best to accommodate you, but our ambassadors’ health and safety dictate our final decisions. We do not allow touching of any of our ambassadors by the public. Touching these animals will send the wrong message, especially to children. Program fees are based on distance from our facility, length, and topic. Our fees help cover insurance, permits, staff, program materials, and (most importantly) our wildlife ambassadors’ and patients’ care.


SCHOOL PROGRAM OPTIONS

We are so excited to share with you that we now offer three new program options that align with the Wisconsin Standards for Science (in addition to our general programs)!   Join us and learn about local wildlife while meeting some of our animal ambassadors in person.  New Science Curricula Flyer

ANIMALS ARE TOUGH! 

(Grades K-5)

Explore the importance of shells, color, talons, teeth, and musk.  Students will be introduced to some native animals to learn how wildlife have adapted to live in Wisconsin.

Standards met in this program:  SCI.CC4.K-2, SCI.CC6.K-2, SCI.LS1.A.1, SCI.LS1.A.4, SCI.LS3.B.3

 

NATURE’S SELF-DEFENSE 

(Grades 6-8)

Using some examples from right in their backyard, students will learn how native wildlife in Wisconsin have adapted to survive in their local
ecosystem, and how they can help their wild neighbors. We talk about
tough turtle shells, hidden snowshoe hares, and everything in between.

Standards met in this program:  SCI.LS2.A.m, SCI.LS4.B.m, SCI.LS4.C.m

 

 

BIOLOGICAL DEFENSES IN WISCONSIN WILDLIFE 

(Grades 9-12)  

Take a closer look at how certain wildlife species have specialized traits to help them survive in the wild. From glands on toads to the misleading hiss of a bullsnake this program uses local wildlife to highlight the weird wonders of Wisconsin, as well as how our facility plays a role in their community!

Standards met in this program:  SCI.LS1.A.h, SCI.LS4.C.h, SCI.LS4.D.h

 

 


 

In-Person Education Programs

Educator Helen and Marcy the Virginia Opossum

The Wildlife In Need Center provides educational programs for schools, youth programs, senior centers, businesses, and community events that feature our wildlife ambassadors. We have a few set programs but are happy to collaborate and tailor our programming to better fit with existing curriculums and education goals. Our programs can come to you or our center’s classroom can hold 35 adults or 55 children comfortably. While public tours are not available of our hospital area, several of our wildlife ambassadors reside in our classroom and we welcome you to stop by during office hours to say hello!

GENERAL PROGRAM: This program includes information about what we do as a wildlife rehabilitation center, how you can get involved, and helpful hints on how to peacefully coexist with our wildlife neighbors.  The majority of the program is spent with a few of our wildlife ambassadors as we talk about their individual stories and their species.

PUBLIC BOOTH DISPLAY:  The Wildlife In Need Center can enhance your street fair, farmer’s market, festival, etc. with a public booth set-up and live educational animals!  We will be on-hand to answer questions directly to event-goers and give people an up close and personal look at one or more of our animal ambassadors as we share their stories and talk about how to live harmoniously with our wildlife neighbors.

PRIVATE MEET & GREET: Get the opportunity of a lifetime and get up close to one of our wildlife ambassadors!  Make sure to bring all of your best questions and a camera.  While you cannot touch the ambassadors, you’ll be able to take many fun and creative pictures with them in this private opportunity.

 

Boy Scout and Girl Scout Programs

In addition to our general program options, we also offer programs designed with specific badges in mind.

For Girl Scout Programs click HERE

For Boy Scout Merit Badge Programs click HERE

 

 

Virtual Education Programs

Our virtual programs give your group the chance to see our educational ambassadors very up close and personal on the screen while learning fun things about them, their species, and ways we can help animals like them thrive in the wild. All virtual programs are completely customizable and can be catered to any age. See below for ideas of what we can offer!

GENERAL VIRTUAL PROGRAM:  Our virtual program is an interactive experience where you will have an opportunity to meet some of our educational ambassadors, talk about their stories and species ecology, and ask our educators questions.  The program will last between 30-60 minutes, depending on your needs.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS:  Our virtual field trips follow the same outline as our General Virtual Program, and we can work with you to connect students in a single classroom or across multiple classrooms (or homes) for a shared experience.  The program incorporates many of the core ideas of the Life Science discipline of the Next Generation Science Standards, and we are also happy to work with teachers on tailoring a program to focus on a particular area of study! Ask about our weekly or monthly wildlife sessions where we focus on one of our eight wildlife ambassadors and go in detail about their species.

SPECIAL OCCASIONS (including company meetings and “just because”):  Our ambassadors can help make your next special occasion extra memorable – even if everyone is remote!  We will talk about WINC and introduce you to a few of our animal ambassadors.  This can be a lively, smile-inducing experience for your next virtual company meeting or a great way to bring together your animal-loving friends and family for birthdays, family reunions, baby/wedding showers, or even happy hours, which we like to call Wine/Whisky with Wildlife.

VIRTUAL MEET & GREET: Meet one of your favorite wildlife ambassadors – virtually! These meet & greets are around 15 minutes long and can be on almost any virtual communication platform. Partake in their daily care, watch them eat their meals, or just see them up close and try to stump our educator with any and all questions you may have!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Pay

Program fees can be paid by credit card online, or by cash or check (made payable to Wildlife in Need Center).

Consumable items from our General Wish List, Medical Wish List, or Amazon.com Wish List may be collected in place of cash in many instances.  If one is directly sending us items from our Amazon Wish List, a copy of the receipt must be sent to education@helpingwildlife.org with a note indicating which program it is for so credit can be applied accordingly.

Groups unable to afford all or part of the education program fee can apply for funding. Please visit the Leslie Kiehl Education Program Fund for more details. Applying does not guarantee funding. Additional donations are always welcome and can be considered tax deductible.