Whether you are a teacher, scout leader, home school parent or other educator, the City of Allen and local partners offer a variety of opportunities to help nurture growing minds. Use this collection of classroom presentations, field trip opportunities, video resources and educational events as your field guide as you explore all the learning and growth opportunities the Allen community has to offer.
To schedule a program or tour, contact our Education Specialists.
Nature Walk & Tree Trail Guide
Pre-K to Grade 12 | Take a walk through Dayspring Nature Preserve with one of our educators and use a Tree Trail Guide to help identify trees by their leaves, fruit or bark. Enjoy the natural surroundings by observing the creek, listening to the birds and gathering leaves for leaf rubbings back at the pavilion. Can be combined with other programs about litter prevention or recycling.
Grades K-12 | Keep Allen Beautiful sponsors various contests in schools. This includes the Recycled Art Contest, Reuse-a-Shoe Contest and Don’t Mess with Texas Contest for grades K-12. Grades 4-5 may compete in the Arbor Day Poster Contest, with curriculum available for grade 5. Learn more.
Pre-K to Grade 7 | Reader’s Theatre is a dramatic presentation of a written work in script form. We offer two versions: modified and full. For Pre-K to grade 3, a select number of students wear costumes and act out a book for their peers while being read to by an education specialist. For grades 4-7, a select number of students perform a work by reading from a script. The performance is facilitated by an education specialist. The focus is on expression, gesture and an environmental lesson. Choose from:
- The Wartville Wizard: An old man fights litter by magically sticking each piece of trash to the person who dropped it. The program demonstrates what litter looks like and explains its harmful effects.
- All the Way to the Ocean: An uplifting story about friends who learn that litter can harm waterways. This program illustrates what happens to hazardous household waste and litter once it enters storm drains
The 3 "R"s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Grades K-6 | Explore how recycling conserves resources for the future. Investigate Allen’s single stream recycling program and discover all of the household items that are recyclable and non-recyclable. Compare single stream recycling at home to school recycling. Optional: Recycling Relay sorting game is available.
Grades 3-5 (Waste in Place) | Students will examine items in a prepared “litter bag,” rank the items from most desirable to least desirable according to their own criteria and explore why littering occurs, why it can be dangerous and why littering is behavior that can be changed. Students will learn how to properly dispose of litter and what items can be recycled or composted.
Grades 4-6 | This audiovisual game is based on the popular television show format with a focus on Allen. Students must compete in teams. The game includes questions about litter, waste management, recycling, household hazardous waste (HHW) and changing habits.
Grades 4-12 | These interactive lessons use a model to show students how their daily habits impact the environment. Choose from two different models, including “Modern Landfill Versus the Town Dump” and “Hazardous Waste.” Maximum group of 25 students in one lesson. Multiple lessons can be scheduled during one day.
The Over-Packaging Problem
Grades 7-12 (Waste in Place) | This interactive demonstration teaches students to identify product over-packaging. The demonstration begins with students being asked to open a product that has just arrived in the mail. As students struggle to unpack, they are taught about waste reduction, recycling and source reduction. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify the function of packaging in the manufacturing and natural world.
MRF in Action: A Science Approach to Understanding Recycling Centers
Grades 7-12 (Waste in Place) | This lab sequence is recommended for groups planning on visiting a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), also known as a recycling center, or curious about how one works. Students simulate different techniques MRFs use to separate and sort materials. Students will learn about single stream recycling, contamination and recycling centers.
Virtual Field Trip to MRF
Grades K-3 | Younger children take a virtual tour of CWD’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Explanation of photos taken at Community Waste Disposal, hands-on examination of recyclables and “buy recycled” items make this lesson memorable. Contact CWD at 972.392.9300, ext. 226 to request a virtual field trip.
Field Trip to MRF
Grades K-12 | Tour CWD's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to see a recycling center in action. Tours are best scheduled during cooler months as this is a facility open to the outdoors. Thirty days’ notice is required. (Note: As this is an industrial facility, tours are not offered for preschool students.) Contact CWD at 972.392.9300, ext. 226 to schedule a field trip.
Junior Master Gardener Curriculum
Through dozens of exciting activities, students can investigate plant growth and development, take part in service learning projects and earn certification. The level 1 and 2 curricula combines the teacher/leader guide with reproducible pages for students.
- Literature in the Garden (Grades 1-5)
- Wildlife Gardener (Grades 1-5)
- Operation Thistle: Seeds of Despair (Grades 6-8)
- Operation Water: Dr. Thistle Goes Underground (Grades 6-8)
The Waste Services Division has a tool trailer and supplies available to groups (such as school, church, scouting or neighborhood groups) in Allen for maintaining or enhancing school gardens or neighborhood public spaces. A limited supply of compost may also be available to schools.
Environmentally-themed books can be used to develop reading comprehension, out-loud reading skills and satisfy TEKS reading and English language requirements.
- All the Way to the Ocean
- Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
- Garbage Collectors
- The Gardener
- Great Trash Bash
- Just a Dream
- Ms. Rumphius
- Tops and Bottoms
- The Wartville Wizard
Educator In Service Workshops
Through each of these six-hour workshops, you will learn interdisciplinary environmental lessons. Each workshop comes with an activity guide containing hands-on activities in lesson plan format, cross-referenced by topic. Lessons are correlated to national science standards and participants receive SBEC and TEEAC credit hours.
- Project Wild (Grades K-12)
- Project Wet (Grades K-12)
- Waste in Place (Grades K-6)
Our workshops are fun, informative and help your scouts meet badge requirements. Each workshop is unique and planned according to age and abilities. Call today to set up your interactive, hands-on workshop. Ten scout minimum with at least two adults per group. Call 214.509.4552 to arrange a workshop. Service projects for scouts are available from KAB and the City of Allen upon request.
STEAM Nights and Community Fairs
Our staff is available to host a table with hands-on activities or provide a presentation to fit with your school’s objectives. Call 214.509.4555 to discuss ideas for your event!
To schedule a program, email our education team.
Grades K-1 (30 minutes) | In this lesson, students will learn to identify a variety of natural sources of water and its characteristics including rivers, lakes, and oceans. Students will also learn which lake supplies their drinking water.
All the Water in the World
Grade 2 (30 minutes) | Students will conduct a hands-on activity that demonstrates the distribution of all water on Earth. The students will begin to understand how water is an important resource and discuss ways we can conserve this natural resource.
Grade 3 (45 minutes) | Students will conduct a hands-on activity to demonstrate how human activities affect the nearby waterbody. Students will also be able identify different sources of pollution and its effect on the health of the water body.
The Incredible Journey
Grade 4 (30 minutes) | Students will be able to demonstrate the continuous movement of water on Earth by acting as a water droplet moving throughout the water cycle. Students will also be able to explain how the sun provides energy and drives the water cycle.
Relay for Water
Grade 6 (45 minutes) | Using an interactive, hands-on activity, students will understand how various uses of water resources can affect water supply, as well as examine the complexities of providing water for everyone. The students will learn that water is a finite resource and begin to critically think about their own daily water use and consumption.
H2O Guesstimate & Erosion Relay
Grades K-12 | Great for STEAM days, science clubs, environmental clubs and special events! Students will be able to learn about water conservation in an informal setting. Activities can be set up as a station or they can be tailored to meet your club’s needs. All the Water in the World can be substituted in lieu of the Erosion Relay. If you have a specific idea in mind, we can work with you.
Sustainable Landscape Video Series
Adults | The Sustainable Landscape Video Series educates homeowners on sustainable landscape techniques and practices that reduce waste and conserve resources. Presentations cover a variety of landscape topics such as landscape design, sprinkler set-up, fruit and vegetable gardening tips, and smart plant choices. Visit CityofAllen.org/SLS to find more than 30 episodes catering to North Texas gardeners
Meet the Mayor
Grades K-12 | Invite Mayor Brooks to come to your class! He is available to speak to small and large groups. Programs are varied and can be tailored to your needs. Contact the City Secretary to learn more.
City Hall Tours
Grades K-12 | Students will visit the Council Chambers and have a class picture taken with the Mayor. Limited tours are offered during the school year to provide learning opportunities with a variety of departments such as the Mayor’s Office, Engineering, Police and Parks & Recreation. All tour requests must be scheduled through the City Secretary’s Office at least 30 days in advance. Contact the City Secretary to request a tour.
Ages 13-18 | Teen Court is an educational opportunity that helps teen defendants and volunteers understand our justice system. Allen’s Teen Court program allows teens to serve as a judge, defense and prosecuting attorneys, and jurors, on the trials of fellow juveniles who plead guilty or no contest to Class C misdemeanors. Defendants are sentenced to community service and serve as a juror on other defendants’ citations in order to involve them in the judicial process. Learn more.
All ages | Take a walk through one of Allen’s five fire stations to see how our firefighters live during their shifts. Each station consists of an inside tour followed by time spent in the bay (garage) area viewing our trucks and engines along with the gear and tools found on each! Request a tour.
Bunker Gear Presentation
All ages | Firefighters show what they look like before and after they are called to a fire or emergency. Bunker gear is explained piece by piece and then ‘donned’ by firefighters to show the authentic look. This presentation is also available in a pre-recorded video for visits that cannot occur in person. Request a presentation.
All ages | Enjoy an up-close look at one of Allen’s fire trucks or engines, along with a quick tutorial of all the tools carried and utilized by Allen Fire Department. Request a display.
All ages | This mobile classroom is equipped with lifelike simulations to educate the citizens of Allen on what to do when a fire strikes in the kitchen or bedroom. By utilizing sound, smoke, and fire effects, participants get the feel of an authentic emergency to practice beneficial techniques such as feeling a door for heat, blocking smoke, crawling low, and evacuating an area when your first choice is blocked. Request a presentation.
Smoke House Simulation
All ages | An instructor uses a furnished, two-story plexiglass doll house to demonstrate how quickly smoke fills each level of a home. The demonstration teaches the importance of keeping bedroom doors closed and shows the methods firefighters use to ventilate a smoke-filled home. Request a presentation.
All ages | Learn what to do in emergency situations, who to call, how to dial from multiple types of phones, and what important information to convey. This is a great program for younger children to learn the importance of 911. Request a presentation.
Junior Fire Academy
Ages 11-13 | This weeklong summer day camp is open to students who are in 5th and 6th grade at time of Spring registration. Students will be taught the ins and outs of the Allen Fire Department, along with skills such as first aid, ropes and knots, effective communication, fire extinguisher use, and more. The week also focuses on soft skills such as team building, leadership, confidence, safety, and respect for others. Learn more.
Juvenile Firesetting Intervention Programs
Ages 3-17 | These specialized programs run by our Fire Marshal’s Office are intended to educate and instruct parents and their children about the dangers and consequences of fire and firesetting behaviors. Our goal is to address and meet the needs of children in three categories: Curiosity Firesetters (ages 3-7), Crisis Firesetters (ages 6-12), and Delinquent Firesetters (ages 11-17). Contact the Fire Marshal's Office to learn more.
Fire Extinguisher Training
Ages 10 to adult | A digital fire simulator lets users experience fire extinguisher operations while remaining indoors. This safe, smoke-free training also includes a short teach piece on the types of fires, types of extinguishers, and basic fire safety. (Note: participants will need to be able to easily lift 10+ lbs. to complete the simulation.) Request a training.
Community CPR Classes
Ages 10 to adult | This hands-on training teaches how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants. Participants will also learn to properly use an AED (automated external defibrillator) device as needed. While this is not an official certification course, participants will learn all the vital skills to save lives in emergency situations. (Note: participants under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.) View upcoming classes.
Stop the Bleed Classes
Ages 10 to adult | This national awareness campaign encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. You will learn the various ways to control and/or stop bleeding after an injury, whether you only have your two hands to use or a full trauma first aid kit available to you. (Note: participants under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.) View upcoming classes.
Citizens Fire Academy
Ages 18+ | This free program is designed for adults living and working in Allen who wish to learn more about the Allen Fire Department organization and operations. Participants will experience demonstrations of emergency operations, fire and life safety training, optional ride alongs with on-duty firefighters on emergency calls and much more. (Note: While the CFA program offers in-depth understanding of the department, the program is not to be confused with a fire service training academy for future career firefighters.) Learn more.
Senior adults | This program, developed by experts from national and local safety organizations, centers around fire and fall prevention messages for older adults. At age 65, older adults are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large. By age 75, that risk increases to three times that of the general population — and to four times by age 85. Participants will learn 16 key safety messages in this course. Request a presentation.
Allen Public Library
Infant to age 5 & their families | The Library presents story times for children ages 0-5 years old during seasonal sessions throughout the year. Story times are designed for adults and children together. Staff use a variety of elements, including books, storytelling, puppetry, flannel stories, finger plays, rhymes and musical activities. Check the Library’s website or printed calendar for story time dates, times and themes. Learn more.
Infant to teen | The Library offers programs throughout the year for children, tweens, teens and families, including: craft and music programs, StoryWalk®, STEM kits, and special celebrations and events. Learn more.
Summer Reading Club
All ages | Every summer, the Library offers the Summer Reading Club to encourage residents of Allen to read for pleasure, maintain reading skills and promote library usage when most children are not in school. Children, tweens, teens and adults receive reading logs to keep track of their leisure reading. When the log is completed, the participant earns prizes. The Library also offers story times, puppet shows, special performances, movies and a variety of age-specific programs for children, teens and adults. Visit AllenLibrary.org to register.
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
Infant to kindergarten | The Library offers this year-round reading initiative to encourage caregivers and children to read books together. Any child from birth to entering kindergarten can register at the Children’s Desk or online for this self-paced program. Learn more.
All ages | The Library has e-books, digital magazines and digital comic books compatible with Kindles, iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices, including children’s and teen titles. “Always Available” e-books include many classic works of literature that are required reading for high school students or recommended for other students. Learn more.
Pre-K to youth | TumbleBooks feature narrated and animated editions of books for children. The online library provides reading enjoyment and practice, as well as learning games, puzzles and other activities for readers. No login or password is required. Learn more.
Pre-K to youth | The Library has pre-loaded tablets with skill-building games and stories for children. One tablet can be checked out per library card and the loan period is one week. Learn more.
Adult Programs & Book Clubs
Adults | Learn a craft, travel to a faraway land or just come to learn something new. The Library also offers two different types of book clubs that cater to all interests. Find the group that’s right for you! View all adult programs.
All ages | The Friends of the Allen Public Library coordinate the “One Community One Book” project in partnership with the Library and local schools, as well as City and community organizations.
Ages 5-18 | Scout troops, schools and other community groups are invited to complete an online tour request form on AllenLibrary.org to schedule a library tour for children ages 5-18. Staff will demonstrate to children, their parents and adult leaders how to obtain a library card and how to use the self-check machines, the online catalog and the Internet access computers. Staff can also point out the various fiction and nonfiction collections, audio books and read-along sets, music CDs, and children’s DVDs, as well as special features such as the aquarium and children’s mural. Request a tour.
Parks & Recreation
Practicum students are volunteers seeking to gain experience in one of the specialized areas that make up Allen Parks & Recreation. View current opportunities.
SNAP: Special Needs Adapted Programs
Allen Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of programs for people with disabilities. Allen’s Special Needs Adapted Programs (SNAP) dedicate time to skill development and social interaction during each class and event. SNAP’s goal is to offer everyone with special needs a fulfilling experience in a fun and supportive environment. Learn more.
More than 80 miles of hike and bike trails provide safe places to walk and bike while allowing for natural beauty, adventure and exploration. View trail map & suggested trail experiences.
911 Public Education
All ages | Allen Police Department’s Public Education Specialist offers 911 Public Education outreach programs. The message varies depending on the age group. Learn more.
Active Shooter Training
Ages 16+ | Designed for organizations of all types, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training is available from Allen Police Department instructors. Each presentation is approximately 45 minutes and leaves time afterwards for questions. Officers are available to to visit your location in advance to personalize the presentation for your site. Learn more.
Citizens Police Academy
Ages 18+ | The Citizens Police Academy (CPA) educates Allen residents about their police department and prepares them to be ambassadors for the department in their communities. During the 10-week course, participants learn about topics ranging from criminal law and patrol tactics to use of force. The group may also take field trips to facilities such as the Collin County Detention Center, Allen Police K-9 field and the APD pursuit driving track. Learn more.
Ages 12+ | Ready for a new fitness challenge? Allen Police Department offers free workout programs for Allen residents, with options for adults and families with children ages 12+. These beginner-level workouts are styled after the training undergone by police recruits! Learn more.
Junior Police Academy
Students entering grades 7-12 | Junior Police Academy allows youth to experience law enforcement firsthand, offering a fun and interactive camp modeled after actual police recruit training. The camp covers many aspects of law enforcement with classroom instruction, hands-on training, scenarios and more! Students will learn the basic operations of a police department and explore careers in criminal justice while meeting members of Allen Police Department. Learn more.
Personal & Online Safety for Juveniles
Ages 5+ | Allen Police Department partners with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to deliver their educational materials to the community at no cost. Programs include KidSmartz™ personal safety for grades K-5, NetSmartz online safety for grades 2-5 and online safety education for parents, guardians and community members. Learn more.
Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Training for Women
Ages 14+ | Designed for women only, the R.A.D. Defense System basic physical defense instructional objective is “to develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they become viable considerations to the woman who is attacked.” Each class is limited to 25 women. Ages 14-16 may participate with a female guardian present. Learn more.
- Allen Arts Alliance
- Allen Garden Club
- Allen Heritage Guild
- Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
- Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America
- Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve
- Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
- In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center
- John Bunker Sands Wetland Center
- North Texas Municipal Water District
- Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service