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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

Welcome Back Teachers and Students!

As we begin the new school year, we are so excited to be a part of the experience for both teachers and students. We have worked hard to build a better and more streamlined outreach program for local southeast North Carolina schools and we anticipate many more students being educated with our activities. We're just getting starting and we are here for all your educational needs, whether it's through our array of resource books or through our hands-on marine science activities.

Last spring, our outreach program, Watershed Walkabout, expanded its reach to Onslow County. Proving successful, we are again recruiting schools from Onslow County south to Brunswick County this fall. We are now offering individual grade-specific activities from our original offered list. Each grouping for elementary school (K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th) now has two activities for both grades and two activities specifically for each individual grade. Middle School activities have been divided into 6th only, 7th only, 8th only, 6th-7th, and 7th-8th. Our High School activities have been divided between Environmental and Biology to better suit the needs of biology and earth and environmental classes.

We are enhancing our individual activities with more stuff! We have been purchasing a lot of cool new toys and biofacts so that we can slide away from the use of glossy photographs and PowerPoint presentations to give a more fulfilling program for students. From sea turtle skull replicas to shark teeth, from stuffed animals to small toy representations of local species, students will get a better understanding of the wildlife that surrounds them every day.

We are also reconnecting with old friends and making new partnerships. This year, we anticipate the ability to debut our brand new Coastal Curriculum at the Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association conference, which is being held right here in North Carolina. We have been asked to partner with Cape Fear Academy's afterschool program to provide a 10-week enrichment activity to their 3rd-5th grade group. We hope to continue this in the spring as well with their K-2nd grade group.

One of our biggest partnerships will come from the STEM Leadership Academy. We will be providing a mentorship opportunity for students to come and assist with educating our activities to local schools. These students will come from UNCW and other community colleges, as well as some high school students participating in their leadership program.

As we focus our attention again towards public school curriculum enrichment, we still have opportunities for Girl Scouts to participate in our two events on October 22nd and February 23rd. We have books still available for purchase on our website. We also will be participating in the Women in Science event at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher on September 17th. Here's to a great fall season!

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