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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

Like a River, We Go With the Flow

The year is off to a record start... of delays and setbacks... but we persevere because we believe in the work that we do. Every teacher we connect with, every spark of interest in a child's eyes, is another step in continuing our mission to put science education in the hands of local schools. What we hope to accomplish this year is to see more students learn about the ecosystems right here in the Cape Fear Region and we will continue to work towards that goal no matter what.

Although some school districts have opted to return later than others or to return to hybrid scheduling, we will try our best to work with those teachers who still want us to visit their classrooms. We have adapted each lesson to provide activities that only require four or fewer students in each group. Some schools still require six feet of distance at all times, so we will work with teachers to find the best activity that allows for individual learning or large group settings, so the students can be spaced out accordingly.

One of our favorite lessons, Web of Life, adapted from the NJ Sea Grant Consortium, has individual classroom materials, so nothing needs to be sanitized between use. As long as we have the space provided for us in a gymnasium, cafeteria, or outside, we can keep students at a safe distance from each other and still teach about the food web of the salt marsh!

Our normal scheduling of coming to a school in the morning, rotating to each class in a grade throughout the day, and leaving when the students get on their buses, may also need to change with the new hybrid scheduling. We will not under any circumstances charge a school for multiple trips in one week. We believe so much in the work we do and the lessons we teach, that we want to make sure they stay cost efficient enough for us to return to teach every student that has opted for in-school learning this semester.

As we flow through this school year, we will meet many pebbles down the river, but we will work around any boulders that we may encounter to provide the best lessons and activities we have to offer. Like the mighty Cape Fear River of our region, we will go the distance for our students and teach them everything we know about ecosystems, resources, wildlife, and how to become better stewards of the land for their future.

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