SHIRLEY — The mission of the Shirley Educational Foundation (SEF) is to provide resources for innovative educational opportunities in the public schools of Shirley. SEF has announced three such programs to be funded by the Foundation. Coincidentally all three programs relate to nature and the study of the natural world.
“The World of Owls” — First-grade students in 2008 will have the opportunity to study owls through the Wingmasters program. Students will be have live owls visit their classrooms as they learn about these special creatures and even have an opportunity to dissect their pellets! This grant was requested by Lura A. White Principal Suzanne Mahoney.
“Kitchen Botany” — Interactive Science Workshops — The third-grade curriculum includes study on the life cycle of plants. Through this interactive, hands-on program, the children will gain a deeper appreciation for the role that plants play in sustaining life. They will have the opportunity to plant their own vegetable and grow it as a houseplant. The materials and instruction guidelines will be available after this year’s program runs its course, enabling other classes to gain the same experience. This grant was requested by the third-grade teachers and by Shirley resident Dina Samfield.
“Outdoor Science” — Fourth-grade students will have the opportunity to get out of the school classroom and into the outdoor classroom. Students will learn about invasive plants and what to do about them. They will study beaver habitats at Catacunemaug Brook as well as learn about sampling brooks for insect larvae. Students will learn how to rate the health of a brook based on their findings. This grant was requested by Meredith Marcinkewicz.
To learn more about SEF, go to www.shirleyedfoundation.com.