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Paducah’s Morgan Elementary School Wins $5,000 Grant for Eco-Friendly Playground Makeover in 2nd Annual TurfMutt National Sweepstakes

May 17, 2013

Discovery Education and OPEI will present Morgan Elementary with Grand Prize on May 24, along with a surprise visit from Lucky, the real-life rescue dog and TurfMutt spokesdog – 

Alexandria, Va.  (May 17, 2013) Discovery Education and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)’s Education Foundation today announced the Grand Prize winner and two runners-up of TurfMutt’s second annual national ‘Spruce Up Your School’ sweepstakes.

The national TurfMutt program, named after Lucky, a real-life rescue dog, is a dynamic digital curriculum that encourages kids and their families to protect and foster green space in their communities, and advocates for animal rescue and adoption initiatives.

The TurfMutt curriculum has reached more than one million students across the country, and is featured on the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, Department of Energy and the Center for Green Schools at USGBC websites.

Ms. Kim Davidson, a Morgan Elementary teacher, won the Grand Prize on behalf of her entire school.  Located in Paducah, Ky., Morgan Elementary School will receive a $5,000 grant to introduce more green space around school grounds and play areas, and all students at Morgan Elementary will receive a TurfMutt backpack with school supplies.

Ms. Davidson entered the TurfMutt sweepstakes hoping to create a vibrant play area around the school and encourage environmental awareness through the care of more green space.

Discovery Education and OPEI will present Ms. Davidson and Morgan Elementary School with the Grand Prize check on May 24, along with a surprise visit from Lucky, the real-life rescue dog and TurfMutt spokesdog.

“Since we are located in the very heart of Paducah, our children get limited access to natural, green space areas,” said Vicki Conyer, Morgan’s school principal.  “Thanks to OPEI and Discovery Education, this makeover will give our students expanded outdoor experiences and enjoyment for years to come.”

“For the second year in a row, we’ve had a terrific response from teachers across the country,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.  “Teachers understand that green space around the school helps kids be more active, investigate how things grow, and learn about their unique ecosystem.  The only way to learn about the outdoors is to get outdoors, and that is what the TurfMutt program is all about.”

The two runners-up in the TurfMutt Sweepstakes are Ms. Becky Adams from Hearn Academy in Phoenix, Ariz; and Mr. Robert Voss from Yorktown Elementary School in Yorktown, Ind.  Students in these two winning classrooms will receive TurfMutt-branded “Green Packs” that contain eco-friendly school supplies, including a canvas backpack, lunch bag, colored pencils, and a water bottle.

“TurfMutt’s resources are making it possible for students to build a bridge between what they’re learning in science class and what they see in their environment,” said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president. “Discovery Education is thrilled to work alongside OPEI to award prizes that reinforce these lessons and give students the opportunity to better understand and embrace the nature around them.”

OPEI and Discovery Education have created a dynamic digital curriculum and set of online resources that encourages kids and their families to take care of the land around them and fosters an appreciation of green space in their communities.

In addition to lesson plans, engaging activities, puzzles and videos, children and their families can enjoy an interactive map about ecosystems across the country. With these resources, teachers can emphasize the benefits of growing plants in balance with local climates and environments, and young people and their parents can learn about sustainability in their own backyards.

Lesson plans and family activities can be found at:

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Explore the future of education at

About OPEI’s Education and Research Efforts

OPEI’s Education and Research efforts focus on developing educational materials, supporting research and furthering programs to foster environmental stewardship and an appreciation of our parks, forests, lawns and landscapes.  Priorities revolve around environmental best practices and stewardship in the care and enjoyment of our green spaces and safety education that ensures safe and proper use of outdoor power equipment.

About Morgan Elementary

Located in the Paducah Public School District, in the heart of Paducah, Morgan Elementary is a small urban school with about 415 students, preschool through 5th grade.