Living Coast’s ‘Open House’ Offers Inspiration

P1000875Teachers, principals, PTA members and other school representatives were among the attendees when the Chula Vista Elementary School District recently hosted an Open House for its Coastal Education Program at the Living Coast Discovery Center.  These representatives were able to priority register their classes for trips to the Center from January to June and also received an overview of all the K-8 Coastal Education Programs that are offered. Twenty-four classes from nine different schools in the District won a drawing for free transportation to visit the Center. Transportation funding is being provided by the San Diego Unified Port of San Diego’s ‘Environmental Projects Benefitting the Bay’ Program.

With school funding for field trips being cut, and bus costs on the rise, this opportunity has become increasingly popular. “Teachers that ‘win’ feel like they have won the lottery for their students,” said Karen Quiros, the District’s Science Resource Teacher at the Living Coast Discovery Center. Thirty- five CVESD members attended the Open House from 3-5 p.m.

Charters Jan 2012 046Since 1987, CVESD has funded a full-time Science Resource Teacher at the Chula Vista Nature Center, now Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC), to provide preK-6th grade Coastal Education Programs

This year, 7th and 8th grade programs were added to the curriculum offered. The programs are standards- based experiential learning and focus on life, physical, environmental and social science studies. About 5,000 students from the Chula Vista area attend a Discovery Center program each year. The Discovery Center, formerly named the Chula Vista Nature Center when it was created by the City of Chula Vista in 1987, has become a recognized international leader in wetland-related programs and exhibits. The center is a living museum located in the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge off the San Diego Bay in south San Diego County. Currently, the Discovery Center is hosting the “Washed Ashore- Plastics, Sea Life & Art” seasonal exhibit. This community art project brings attention to the global crisis of ocean pollution and the impact of “disposable” plastics that threaten marine animals and habitats.

Over the past four years, the Port has provided $23,250 to fund transportation to a Coastal Education program for 4,708 students from 196 classes in CVESD.

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