Connecting with Teachers, Students and animals
I am constantly amazed by the wonder of the incredibly diverse and delicate world that exists beneath the waves. Finding myself with a free moment in the waning hours of my time in Dominica I was compelled to don my mask and snorkel just once before departing.
A mere 100 yards off shore, I was reminded yet again why it is so important for young people understand that the ocean is a living and breathing organism that must be protected. There is so much to see and explore, many species still to learn about and much to preserve before it’s too late. I found myself being amazed by every fish that swam by me, each going about their daily lives. From the smallest seahorse to dazzling reef squid and menacing barracuda, each individual has a personality and a distinct way of living that makes it unique.
It’s becoming increasingly important to educate young people about the diversity of ocean life not only in the whole world, but more importantly what is in their backyard.
Yesterday, we met with a new batch of teachers who will be trained in the Floating Classrooms program in January 2011. It is exciting to think about the work that we did last year with two schools expanding to more communities and then expanding from there.
Also in attendance was Mrs. Fredrick, a principal from the Jones Beupierre Primary School in LaPlaine, who piloted the floating classroom program last year. It was inspiring to hear the wonderful things she said about the program and how her students really enjoyed the community service projects they did; particularly a display they did at the end of the term.
In fact, another teacher at our orientation saw the students project and decided that she’d love for her school to be part of the program. Hopefully the Floating Classrooms program will instill in 5th grade students in Dominica a sense of stewardship to not only care about the ocean in their backyard but think about how their actions affect the world around them and continue the exploration of the waters of their beautiful country and protect the whales, dolphins and sea turtles that live within.