What’s Right With Our Schools: Catoosa County Students Learning with TN Aquarium
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – The written word takes on a whole new meaning when you can actually reach out and touch your subject matter. Students in Catoosa County earned new respect their local library thanks to a hands-on program with the Tennessee Aquarium.
Shannon Neal is the Youth and Outreach Coordinator for the Catoosa County Library.
She explains, “We have what’s called our Summer Reading Program, which is geared for all ages; from our babies all the way up to our seniors. Our goal is to continue early literacy throughout the entire summer, because most kids do not read during the summer, as we know. So, we want to encourage them to continue to read, build those skills (so) they don’t lose anything. We provide activities, games, crafts, presenters today, all kinds of fun stuff to get them in here and continue reading.”
Claudia Mendez-Marti is the Outreach Educator at the Tennessee Aquarium.
She says, “Well the kids bring us here today. It’s very important for us through the summer, to share with them a lot of art animals, and a lot of the things we do in the summer. Outreach is very important so we can send out the message of what the conservation of the aquarium is, and how important animals are to their lives and our lives.”
One student said, “The shark teeth were very sharp, and they had a bunch of rows.”
Another added, “I like it touching the creatures. I like that too.”
Felicity Pierson is a parent.
She says, “It’s been really exciting to see the different animals, and things they can touch, and exploring getting a better understanding, and take care of the things around them.”
Claudia chips in, “The most important part of this summer is the learning. Just being part of what they do every year all through the year, just keep it at it you know. If we keep doing that throughout the summer, by the time they get back to school shouldn’t be even a big deal. It should be just perfect for them to go back into school and continue their learning.”
Shannon concludes, “We hope that they come back to the library and realize that all the free services we often offer, the resources that we have, and continue education, and it’s free. It’s the one thing that we have in our community that is free. You can get a library card for free. It’s good for two years. The biggest thing is you want the kids getting the books into their hands. That’s our goal.”