aquarium to bring its fish story to cleveland schools this spring

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium (GCA) has a fish story to tell. Starting this spring, the aquarium will bring its compelling undersea tale to students throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).

GCA has partnered with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) for the education outreach program designed to teach kids the deep interconnection that Ohio has with its freshwater systems. This will be accomplished through Native-American lore, one-on-one time with native Ohio fish and reptiles, and hands-on activities that teach students the importance of protecting the area's local waterways.

The program, called Keepin' It Fresh, will be rolled out in local schools at the beginning of May, says Kayla Ott, aquarium marketing and sponsorship manager.

The multi-grade level presentations "will reach communities unable to come to the aquarium due to funding," Ott says. GCA is planning 75 school visits for 2013, and in future years hopes to educate up to 10,000 students annually. What's more, the program falls in line with Ohio academic standards in the realm of science.

"Teachers will be excited to jump on board," says Ott. "They'll be building their curriculums and lesson plans by offering this program."

Generating passion about aquatic life and water conservation is GCA's stated mission. With the sewer district's assistance, the aquarium can now bring this mission to Cleveland impressionable youth. 

"We're so fortunate to have a lake right here," Ott says. "Lake Erie is a huge piece of Cleveland. We're teaching students how to protect that resource."

SOURCE: Kayla Ott
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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