Second graders get hands on to save bats

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Evergreen Highlands — Second-graders at St. Joseph Catholic School should be able tell you anything you want to know about native Southwest Washington bats after Oct. 25 or “Bat Tuesday.”

Every year, the day is devoted to studying the nocturnal creatures. This year, thanks to donations from local businesses Arciform LLC and Parr Lumber, each student constructed a bat house to take home.

Bat house kits were assembled by students with the help of parents and volunteers.

“There is a lot of misconception about bats,” said Sara Phillips, second-grade teacher. “Our intent is to demystify the critters and celebrate them as part of our local habitat.”

Second-grade teacher Gina Houser started the program 10 years ago. “Most people don’t know that 50 percent of bat species are endangered species. Building the bat houses literally gives every child the hands on experience to help the environment,” Houser said.

You can view photos of the students building bat houses at http://www.columbian.com/photos/galleries.