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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

2019: A Year in Review

The 2018-2019 school year taught us many lessons in perseverance, as we had to deal with Mother Nature head-on. With Florence, and then Michael, our coastal area was inundated with rain, flooding, school and home damage, and financial strain. Then, with the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, we had Dorian, which gave us more flooding. Yet, persevere we did and we are happy with our results.

Overall this year, after establishing ourselves as a for-profit business in June 2018, we were able to visit 10 area schools, both through direct recruitment of lessons or through school STEM/STEAM nights. These special (free) events not only gave us great exposure, but brought a little bit of science and technology to students who might otherwise not have those experiences in school. In visiting those schools, we were able to reach 673 students, over half of which are considered low-income or underserved communities.

Even during the summer, when school was out of session, we were able to connect with summer camps through Communities in Schools of Pender County. This opportunity alone saw us educate 94 students. We hope to work with them again in the future, as well as their other camps in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. We also hope this summer will see us connect more with other types of camps in the area.

We also participated in 4 public events, including Earth Day Festival and LakeFest, both of which saw hundreds of people. At these events, we not only had a mini-activity set up for kids, but we educated adults about the flora and fauna of the Cape Fear region as well. In total, we were able to reach and educate 762 people. We will again be participating in these events (and a few others) in the upcoming year, so keep your eyes out for us!

This year's review would be complete without saying thank you to the support we have received from organizations and individuals who have welcomed us into our new home and community in New Hanover County. Although we are a for-profit business, we strive to provide the very best quality educational experiences to every classroom we enter. So we'd like to take this time to thank our community partners: Wilmington Earth Day Alliance, Cape Fear River Watch, Communities in Schools of Lower Cape Fear, and New Hanover and Brunswick County Schools.

As we look ahead to end of the 2019-2020 school year and begin the new decade, we hope to reach even more students with our fun and entertaining, yet educational, activities about our local marine ecosystems. It is our privilege to provide this type of experience, especially to those students who may not be able to afford a field trip or some of the more pricier programs offered to schools. We strive to make our programs cost-efficient and as hands-on as can be, within a classroom setting. Which is why we committed ourselves to making our activities even better by streamlining and adding 7 more lessons to share with students!

Thanks for a great first year of business and we can't wait to educate!

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