Students tried surfing, many for the first time. 

Students tried surfing, many for the first time. 

In April and May, Sanibel Sea School hosted groups of students from eight local schools for marine biology centered field trips. Each program was carefully designed to complement the students’ classroom-based learning, and the majority of participating schools requested and received partial or full scholarships, which are made possible by the nonprofit organization’s donor-supported scholarship fund.

 Educator Shannon Stainken led a squid dissection. 

Educator Shannon Stainken led a squid dissection. 

The field trips were held at Causeway Islands Park, and students rotated through stations that included activities such as surfing, seining, a squid dissection, and in some cases, a boat trip to a snorkeling location. “We love hosting field trips,” said educator Johnny Rader. “It’s fun to see the same teachers return year after year, and the kids are always so excited to be outside.”

Visiting schools included Orangewood Elementary, Allen Park Elementary, Manatee Elementary, Cape Elementary, St. Francis Xavier School, Canterbury School, Tanglewood Elementary, and Villas Elementary. A total of 825 students were able to attend, up from about 650 last spring. “We are thrilled to see our field trip program growing,” said Director of Education Nicole Finnicum. “The time between Easter and the summer, when our camps begin, is usually very slow for us. It’s amazing to be able to stay busy exploring with school groups and put our scholarship funds to great use,” she added.

 A group headed out for a boat ride in search of wildlife. 

A group headed out for a boat ride in search of wildlife. 

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 sanibelseaschool.org. 

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