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#07-38 February 5, 2007

Marine education opportunity for Title One schools

Marine education coordinators are offering a free educational opportunity for Title One schools in coastal counties this spring.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) free marine educational program, funded by theElizabeth Vernon chats with students Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, is available for fifth through twelfth grade classes that are a part of Title One or Title One eligible schools in the coastal counties of Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry.  Funding for this program began during the summer of 2006 and since that time, 20 Title One schools have participated from these coastal counties. An additional 20 programs will be offered this spring for eligible teachers and classes for up to 35 students per program.

Title One teachers from these coastal counties interested in developing their students’ marine science educational background are encouraged to apply. To register your class for this free opportunity, contact Elizabeth Vernon, DNR coordinator of the Carolina Coastal Discovery Marine Education Program, (843) 953-9359, or vernone@dnr.sc.gov.

The Title One federal program provides financial assistance to schools with high numbers or high percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

Marine education coordinators with the DNR will conduct the program out of the Charleston Harbor estuary, or the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin (ACE), and participating students and teachers will have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge- base of their local marine environment.

The program features a land-based component, in which teachers can choose from several activities including specimen dissections, marine geology, shark identification, plankton labs and fishing techniques.  A marine-based component will also be a part of the educational program, featuring a trip aboard the catamaran E/V Discovery in which educators will lead the group through the collection and study of marine plants and animals, water quality testing, bird identification and estuarine ecology.
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