Thursday, November 30, 2023

Aquarium grants for field trips, other programming open for Title 1 schools

(Courtesy photo)

Public school educators looking to gain access to one of the North Carolina aquariums and its programming this coming school year can apply through the end of September for the Aquarium Scholars grant program.

The funding allows for students from Title I or Title I-eligible schools statewide to enjoy field trips and gain firsthand knowledge on marine life and conservation efforts. The program is aimed to remove financial barriers to underserved areas in the state.

“Working in a Title I school, many of our students have never been to the beach or the Aquarium despite living so close to both of them,” one teacher said in a press release from the aquariums. “Our standards and curriculum cover many of the things that students can actually see and hear about in person at the Aquarium. Since our students lack so many background experiences and opportunities, teaching in class does not afford them the opportunity to actually see what we are talking about and make connections and anchor knowledge to something they have experienced.”

A total of $120,000 in mini grants are available for 2022 applicants. Money from the grants help cover costs for field trips and special programming at one of the three North Carolina Aquariums — Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores or Roanoke Island — as well as to Jennette’s Pier in Nag’s Head.

Or teachers can opt to have an onsite educator program at the school or a virtual program with a live Aquarium educator.

Private donors help fund the program, which has allotted over $400,000 since starting in 2018 for 57,000 students across 78 students in North Carolina. According to a press release, the grants have covered 322 field trips, more than 150 live animal programs in classrooms and 219 virtual programs.

The application period closes September 30:

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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