Students from the Heights Foundation’s Heights Center, an organization that supports at-risk children in the Harlem Heights neighborhood through after school programs and camps, visited Sanibel Sea School for an afternoon of ocean discovery at Bunche Beach. The activity of the day was snorkeling, and participants searched for marine creatures including live shells, marine worms, and crabs.

“Bunche Beach, located just across the Sanibel Causeway in Fort Myers, has some incredible mud flats, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds to explore,” said marine educator Johnny Rader, who led the program. “We always find interesting invertebrates that the kids are able to hold and examine,” he added. Over the years, the organization’s educators have learned that hands-on ocean experiences are often the most meaningful and memorable.

Supported by grants and charitable contributions, Sanibel Sea School engages with Heights students twice each month – once in the classroom, and once in the field. “We are so grateful that we’re able to offer these outreach programs to our community,” said Rader. “There are so many kids in our region who live just miles from the ocean, but hardly ever get to visit or learn about it.” Sanibel Sea School also partners with the Gladiolus Center for Learning and Development, The PACE Center for Girls, the Pine Manor Improvement Association, and numerous schools in Lee and Hendry counties to provide educational outreach programs. 

Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit