Students from LaBelle examine a comb jelly on the Causeway Islands.

Students from LaBelle examine a comb jelly on the Causeway Islands.

Sanibel Sea School began a new partnership with Hendry County schools when students from LaBelle, FL visited the Causeway Islands for a morning of seining and learning about seagrass ecosystems.

Nicole Finnicum shows a students how to use a seine net.

Nicole Finnicum shows a students how to use a seine net.

Nanlyn Akin, the Gifted Program Coordinator for the area, contacted Sanibel Sea School earlier this year to discuss the need for better science-related field trip opportunities for students living in the more inland SW Florida counties, including Hendry.

Spencer Richardson explains how a bubbler helps fish survive in a bucket.

Spencer Richardson explains how a bubbler helps fish survive in a bucket.

“It is very difficult for our students to travel to the ocean in an educational setting,” said Akin, “Transportation costs and time out of a normal classroom setting can be obstacles in our school system.” Sanibel Sea School worked with Akin to overcome these obstacles, and thanks to the nonprofit organization’s donor-supported scholarship fund, they were able to bring over 20 students to experience the ocean. 

Nicole Finnicum gives students a lesson on seagrass ecosystems.

Nicole Finnicum gives students a lesson on seagrass ecosystems.

The Sea School’s educators worked closely with Akin to develop a lesson that would enhance classroom learning. “It was such an incredible morning!” said Spencer Richardson, an educator who led the LaBelle students, “The students already knew so much, and they were very eager to use the seine net. I loved hearing their squeals of excitement when they caught fish and comb jellies.”

Both groups plan to continue this partnership on a monthly basis. Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit www.sanibelseaschool.org.

 

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