It’s a wrap!

It’s a wrap!

Reflecting on the season’s school programs

Another year of school group programs wrapped up in June. It was a tremendous feeling to return to in-person classes after a year and a half! Coastal Rivers provided over 1,200 student opportunities to learn, grow, and explore in nature during the 2021-2022 school year. With two full-time staff devoted to the education program we have been able to offer more to our local schools than ever before.

school kids exploring the tidal creek at Salt Bay Farm

On the hunt for invertebrates: a school group explores the tidal creek at Salt Bay Farm with nets.

Many of our programs are what we call “deep” experiences. These are school groups that meet with our educators repeatedly to build on experiences and knowledge, and enrich the curriculum. Lincoln Academy’s IDEAL and EdLab programs met weekly with educators throughout the school year to hike trails and engage on a wide variety of topics in the natural sciences. Great Salt Bay Community School’s (GSB) kindergarten and 2nd grade classes met seasonally with Coastal Rivers educators to learn about plant and animal adaptations, wetlands, Wabanaki culture, animal migration and much more.

Our programs support a wide variety of subject areas including guidance, science, math and social studies. To name some examples, we taught biodiversity concepts to South Bristol School 5th and 6th graders on Witch Island; algebra and orienteering to Bristol Consolidated School students on the Bristol Recreational Trail; and wetland plant and animal adaptations to GSB 2nd graders at Salt Bay Farm. Lincoln Academy students studied the salt marsh at Glidden Point Preserve, and built and installed bluebird houses and planted native plants at Salt Bay Farm.

Sal surrounded by campers at Camp Mummichog

Sal Azzaretti (now “Mr. Sal” at GSB School) helps campers identify insects at Camp Mummichog in 2011, back when he was a counselor.

Perhaps most gratifying for me was a class on aquatic invertebrate adaptations for Mr. Sal’s 1st graders at GSB. The students were amazed to learn that Mr. Sal had gone to Camp Mummichog when he was little! It was so gratifying to see “Mr. Sal” – once a camper, then a Camp Mummichog counselor, and now a local elementary school teacher – back in the community sharing a love of nature with his students.