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I had a great luncheon yesterday with the winner of NSTA/Seaworld Environmental Educator award. This young man teaches underprivileged youth (including some really hardened gang members) to fish--and environmental education along the way. He's succeeded in Florida, North Carolina and the poorest neighborhood of Nassau, Bahamas.
It's amazing to think that kids who live less than a mile from a beach in these areas have never fished, never learned to swim, almost never see the ocean. After school (or out of school) programs are SO effective here.
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Kudos to the educator for reaching out to some kids for whom this may be a life saving experience!
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I think it’s really great that this teacher had the heart and passion to go out of his way to create memorable learning experiences for these kids. It is amazing how some kids grow up so close to great learning tools but never have the opportunities to be exposed to them. I see it a lot in Baltimore, where kids have wonderful museums at their disposable to learn and grow from, but because of difficult circumstance or lack of funds, they never get the chance. I wish more teachers were like him, but sometimes our hands are tied behind our backs when it comes to informal education. After school programs like those are wonderful, but in many neighborhoods, impossible.
What are some way we can implement informal learning in education? How can we as teachers do more things like this educator?
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This is amazing!!
How awesome of an educator to go above and beyond!!!!!
You are appreciated and definitely give us new teachers motivation and reassurance that anything is possible when you're a teacher!
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My name is Leanna Ferreiro, I am a senior in Elementary Education. This is such a wonderful thing to hear. I agree, it is crazy to think that there are children that have never gone fishing or had an experience like this one. One would think, these students live near the water they would have done this once in their lives. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity that someone can take to educate young, poor children about their environment through a fun and interesting activity. I am sure the children enjoyed doing this while learning many things that they did not know about their environment. Posts like this has inspired me to go out and take any chance I can get to help poor children around me get the opportunity to learn through these fun and interactive activities.
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Reading this post makes my heart smile. Not only does this program teach these children important survival skills for the environment that they live in, but it also introduces these students to a new outlet and after school/weekend activity, fishing. Fishing has always been a big part of my families' life. I have found that it teaches so many life lessons, including patience, respect for one's environment, and how to find your own food source. Fishing is a great hobby for these students to be introduced to. It does not take much money or resources and it can help provide food for you and your family.
This program reminds me of The First Tee Program. This program not only introduces youth to the game of golf, but it also teaches these students 9 core values and healthy habits. I think more programs like these are needed around the world in order to mold our youth into law abiding, creative, nature loving citizens.
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I love this idea of finding the needs of the community and capitalizing on the for the better of the children. It's amazing that this man realized that the students were surrounded by a fun activity, that could provide food for their family, and possibly even a business opportunity, and took his own time to help them take advantage of this resource.
I think sometimes teachers get so caught up in 'the test' that they lose focus on fostering those life long skills that will truly benefit them.
Patricia Josee Records
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I love this idea! It would be a good thing to bring up to your own students, or bring to your local community, especially around the Christmas season currently. Highlighting to students and others around the community that there are people that need assistance is a great lesson to get students thinking less of themselves, and more from the perspective of others, all while tying in to science at the same time!
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SeaWorld also offers free learning resources for teachers. They have teacher guides and classroom activities at http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld_teachers/teacher-resources/
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This website no long exists.
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I love encouraging stories like these. As a future educator, I am always looking for inspiration to keep going and what ways I could do more as a teacher to reach my students. This story shows the determination and the heart of a fabulous educator who loves their career. He is not only teaching them a hobby but also life skills. Fishing takes patience. It can also be relaxing and an escape from the real world. I applaud this teacher!
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Yes, teaching students to swim when they live near water is essential. Almost all of us live near lakes or streams and have access to them. Learning skills such as swimming, fishing not only help survival (especially with all the flooding happening in the news) but can provide supplements to an otherwise diet that lack fresh protein.
There are several communities in bigger cities that offer free swim lessons such as the YMCA's. More should be offered and students should be encouraged to attend. I was luck that my high school in NYC had a pool so we had to learn to swim.
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Thanks for sharing I have a more open mind about science. Students should be aware of their surroundings and as a future educator I will take advantage of that. Learning about fishing opens a door to integrating life cycle, habitat, survival, and many more.
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I work for Head Start preschool which focuses on low income families. I try to incorporate fun activities in the classroom such as fishing using a pole with a magnet on the end and paper fish with a paper clip on it. The children sit in the rocking boat and pretend to fish. I also bring in shells and starfish for them to look at. I create a beach area in dramatic play where the children dress up in swimwear over their clothes, wear sunglasses and lay out on beach towels. The more fun and creative a teacher makes it, the more interactive children will be. My class also takes a field trip to the National Mississippi River Museum to explore all the wonders they have to offer. The children love it. It is a great experience for them.
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A lot of local conservation departments have free fishing programs where they have a location stocked with fish to catch and release. They even provide the fishing poles, etc. You might want to check this out. The only cost is usually that of bus rental in your school or district.
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This is probably only applicable to teachers in North Carolina, but I know that Jordan Lake Rec Area and Falls Lake Rec Area (and maybe a couple others in the state), can provide fishing intro courses for school children as part of their regular field trip offerings. The program is called C.A.S.T, and they provide all the equipment for students including rod, reel, bait, etc, for students who can get out there.
I know that travel in and of itself can be a difficult thing to arrange, but the options are available for teachers and students who can overcome the hardship.
More info is available here: http://www.ncparks.gov/field-trips/cast-%E2%80%93-catch-sure-thing
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I love how this teacher went beyond the classroom to help provide his students with a fun, authentic learning activity. So many underprivileged children lack the funds and resources to have vacations, field trips, and experiences that further their learning and allow them to see their community in a fun, new way. Helping students make connections between science and their environment is so easy through fishing and very impactful. Experiences like these can give students more to write about or read books on in the classroom, enriching more than just their scientific thinking skills.
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