Terminix Gives Back Through Progressive Bug Education Program for Elementary School Kids

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Nearly 40,000 children recognized as Bug Detectives.

Students at Idlewild Elementary view a live scorpion during a Harry's Big Adventure presentation.

We're grateful that this program was available to our kids as they would not have had this interactive level of exposure through our traditional classroom resources -- it literally brought bugs alive for the kids.

Approximately 10,000 kids and 110 classrooms across the country got a visit from Harry the praying mantis and other critters as part of Terminix’s “Harry’s Big Adventure” in-classroom program during the 2012-13 school year. Since its inception in January 2010, the program has reached almost 40,000 children in more than 500 schools.

“We’re grateful that this program was available to our kids as they would not have had this interactive level of exposure through our traditional classroom resources – it literally brought bugs alive for the kids,” said Nancy Flowers, a teacher at Idlewild Elementary School in Memphis, Tenn.

Each classroom presentation includes instruction from a Terminix insect-ologist, who brings a variety of live bugs ranging from the indigenous insects to more exotic critters. The interactive lessons teach kids how different insects impact ecosystems around the world. The children learn fun facts about the live specimen, such as:

  •     Madagascar hissing cockroaches, like most cockroaches, can survive up to a week after being decapitated.
  •     Female tarantulas have been known to live more than 30 years.
  •     Scorpions glow in the dark to thrive in their nocturnal lifestyles.
  •     Termites eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

All kids “graduating” from the program received Bug Detective stickers and activity books to continue their bug studies at home.

The program will be returning for the fifth year for the 2013-14 school year and Terminix is already scheduling presentations for interested schools. Teachers interested in hosting a presentation for the next school year should visit http://www.harrysbigadventure.com and complete the request form under the Educator Center tab. On the site, teachers can also download a variety of free lesson plans approved by the National Science Teachers Association for use in classroom teaching for grades K-6, with additional lesson plans and classroom activities for the next school year.

In addition to the in-classroom presentations, Terminix educates parents and kids through Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World!, an interactive traveling exhibit. The exhibit has traveled to six cities in the past three years, with more than 590,000 visitors. Terminix wants to open the door for educators and families to tap into their vast resources of bug education. Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World! will make its next stop at the St. Louis Science Center this October.

About Terminix

Terminix, a division of the ServiceMaster Company, is the nation’s largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services more than 3 million customers in 47 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. To learn more about Terminix, visit their website at http://www.Terminix.com.

About ServiceMaster

With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 20,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that we estimate independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands provided services and products to approximately 8 million customers during the last 12 months. Our market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; lawn, tree and shrub care; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to http://www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

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Caroline Harris
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