Sunday, April 14, 2024

Coral Reef Ed-venture holds its 14th graduation ceremony

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The Coral Reef Ed-Ventures summer camp is a children’s educational program held in collaboration with Smith College from Massachusetts, USA and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The camp has been taking place for over 14 years in the island. On Thursday, July 11th, they held their annual end of camp open house at the Lion’s Den for the participating children. The program teaches children about reef ecology and conservation and preservation of marine habitats. The camp it has grown since its inception, and this year over 63 students participated in the two week program.
The summer program is divided into two parts: The youth camp, for kids ages 9 – 12 and the advanced camp for students 12 through 17. The venue for the camp was the San Pedro RC School.

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The open house commenced at 7PM and it included a variety of skits, songs and dances that represent all the knowledge that the children gained during the summer camp. Family and friends got a chance to see and enjoy what the children had learned in the two week camp program. The students received ‘experts’ name cards, as a form of diploma, stating that they are Coral Reef Experts for the completion of the course. Alyssa Stanek, a three time program volunteer, “We find it to be very successful. We find that children come back every year and it seems like they really know a lot about the coral reef. And we’re all about working with the community to make sure the students have something fun to do in the summer plus it’s all free.” The open house also included treats and cupcakes for the children and guests. In ending, Alyssa stated, “We love working with the kids here in San Pedro. They have been a blessing and we love spending time with them.” The entire event was a success indeed.

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The children that participated in the summer program got a chance to experience Hol Chan Marine Reserve onboard the Glass Bottom Boat, enjoyed a presentation from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on crocodile habitats and even got to watch two episodes from the National Geographic series “Planet Earth”.

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The six participating students from Smith College, who volunteered their time to be councilors for the summer program, were also on the island conducting research with Hol Chan Marine reserve on the four different types of marine ecosystems: the mangrove, coral reef, shallow sea and deep sea ecosystems. The organizers of Coral Reef Ed-ventures would like to thank the various businesses on the island whose donations made the camp possible. The San Pedro Sun would also like to express appreciation to the six students from Smiths Collage: Alyssa Stanek, Kayla Clark, Dena Greenstreet, Sarah Tucker, Kiara Gomez, and Sarah Alper, who volunteered their time to teach the children of San Pedro on such an important topic.

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