4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

School field trips for all

"It's assumed that kids have access to and go to the beach all the time."

Ocean Connectors' first public eco tour
Ocean Connectors' first public eco tour

A National City nonprofit that has spent the past decade providing locally based science curriculum to elementary students is seeking to expand its footprint in the classroom by opening to the general public its eco tours around the South Bay and beyond.

"We want to open up our programs to the public, but with our grant money focused on the National City School District, we don't have the funding to offer them at no cost," says Frances Kinney, founder and executive director of Ocean Connectors. "We're also looking to offset some of the cost of offering our free program to students — all of the proceeds from the eco tours will allow the low-income children that we work with to go on field trips."

Kinney's group, operating since 2007, currently provides eight of National City's ten elementary schools with three years' supplementary science curriculum, highlighted by field trips offered to students once a year from fourth through sixth grade at no cost to the district or parents.

"Each grade focuses on a different animal — fourth-graders study sea turtles, fifth-graders get whales, sixth grade is about birds. Every year they take a field trip and participate in a knowledge exchange, a direct peer-to-peer dialogue with students in Mexico," Kinney continues. "Every class gets two presentations from a guest speaker each year in addition to the field trip, so we'll see the students three times a year for three years. In addition to that, we have a full bilingual marine-science curriculum that we provide free to every class."

Over the course of the program, students are taken aboard whale-watching vessels, visit the Living Coast Discovery Center, and participate in a nature walk/bay cleanup. Kinney says for many, the trips represent some of the students' first exposure to the coast, despite the farthest-inland boundaries of National City lying less than four miles from San Diego's bayfront.

"I think it's assumed that kids in San Diego have access to and go to the beach all the time, but that's just not true."

The goal of Ocean Connectors isn't just to provide exposure to the local environment, but to promote lifelong environmental stewardship among youth who might not otherwise be inspired by textbooks alone.

"The idea is to have continuous environmental education for three years," Kinney continues. "So each set of curriculum focuses on one aspect of conservation, whether it's the 'three r's' of reduce, reuse, recycle or choosing to eat sustainable seafood."

To date, the group's work has been sponsored by grants from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the Port of San Diego, and sponsorships from local businesses. By offering the fee-based eco tours structured around the three wildlife themes offered to students, Ocean Connectors hopes to raise enough to expand their program to include all ten elementary schools in National City.

"Studies have shown that by age ten, kids have formed their core values — if you get kids outside and excited about nature around that time then they'll care about it for life."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Potato Chip Rock, The Barn, Barona Drags, Oasis Camel Dairy, the Turkey Inn, goat yoga

Reader writer's mash note to Ramona
Ocean Connectors' first public eco tour
Ocean Connectors' first public eco tour

A National City nonprofit that has spent the past decade providing locally based science curriculum to elementary students is seeking to expand its footprint in the classroom by opening to the general public its eco tours around the South Bay and beyond.

"We want to open up our programs to the public, but with our grant money focused on the National City School District, we don't have the funding to offer them at no cost," says Frances Kinney, founder and executive director of Ocean Connectors. "We're also looking to offset some of the cost of offering our free program to students — all of the proceeds from the eco tours will allow the low-income children that we work with to go on field trips."

Kinney's group, operating since 2007, currently provides eight of National City's ten elementary schools with three years' supplementary science curriculum, highlighted by field trips offered to students once a year from fourth through sixth grade at no cost to the district or parents.

"Each grade focuses on a different animal — fourth-graders study sea turtles, fifth-graders get whales, sixth grade is about birds. Every year they take a field trip and participate in a knowledge exchange, a direct peer-to-peer dialogue with students in Mexico," Kinney continues. "Every class gets two presentations from a guest speaker each year in addition to the field trip, so we'll see the students three times a year for three years. In addition to that, we have a full bilingual marine-science curriculum that we provide free to every class."

Over the course of the program, students are taken aboard whale-watching vessels, visit the Living Coast Discovery Center, and participate in a nature walk/bay cleanup. Kinney says for many, the trips represent some of the students' first exposure to the coast, despite the farthest-inland boundaries of National City lying less than four miles from San Diego's bayfront.

"I think it's assumed that kids in San Diego have access to and go to the beach all the time, but that's just not true."

The goal of Ocean Connectors isn't just to provide exposure to the local environment, but to promote lifelong environmental stewardship among youth who might not otherwise be inspired by textbooks alone.

"The idea is to have continuous environmental education for three years," Kinney continues. "So each set of curriculum focuses on one aspect of conservation, whether it's the 'three r's' of reduce, reuse, recycle or choosing to eat sustainable seafood."

To date, the group's work has been sponsored by grants from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the Port of San Diego, and sponsorships from local businesses. By offering the fee-based eco tours structured around the three wildlife themes offered to students, Ocean Connectors hopes to raise enough to expand their program to include all ten elementary schools in National City.

"Studies have shown that by age ten, kids have formed their core values — if you get kids outside and excited about nature around that time then they'll care about it for life."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

3rd of July Fireworks, Mel Brooks Silent Movie with Live Organ

Events July 3-July 6, 2022
Next Article

Lyon, France: a city of sights, not just food

The gourmet capital of France offers more than delicious food to the curious traveler.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close