Friends of the Norwalk Islands to host 'Nature of Learning' fundraiser
Guests at the Friends of the Norwalk Islands "The Nature of Learning" fundraiser slated for Oct. 13 can enjoy an evening of live music by The Boundarymen, interactive fun, discussions with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
This event will benefit the education program organized by Friends of the Norwalk Islands that introduces children to the natural wonders in this community. The benefit will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. at Sunset Grille, located right of Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk. Tickets are $50. Details are available at 203-849-8341 or www.friendsofthenorwalkislands.org.
Susan Snider, FNI president, said, "The Nature of Learning" is the theme for all our educational programs, which have a special emphasis on exposing youngsters to the natural world around them. The funds raised at this benefit will allow us to expand existing programs and create new ones.
"During our first year, we provided fourth-grade classroom programs that meet state curriculum standards to more than 375 students. A special feature of the program is a field trip to the Norwalk Islands. We also arranged for an interactive traveling exhibit about the Connecticut River Watershed to visit five local schools plus several special events. Based on the response to our Nature Photography summer workshops at Calf Pasture Beach, we have added after-school sessions at Marvin Elementary School this fall."
"Doing group work, then presenting was a good way to keep children engaged and to apply what they learned. The trip to Chimon Island was a good way to tie everything together." said Ms. Terry, a fourth-grade teacher at Jefferson Science Magnet School.
"It's an excellent program. It coincided with fourth-grade animal adaptation science lessons ... They (the students) were really surrounded by the information we were providing,"said Ms. Carlton, a fourth-grade teacher at Rowayton Elementary School.
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Marilice Serrano, FNI education director, said, "We look forward to expanding the Nature Photography program to after-school activities at other local schools. Taking advantage of the natural surroundings near each school, participants begin to capture unforgettable moments. Each time we are outdoors, there is something new to see and photograph -- for example, an egret fishing at Taylor Farm after a rainfall or sea creatures that wash up with the low tide at Calf Pasture Beach."
The benefit is the highlight of FNI's celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week (Oct. 10-14), which also includes a display at the main branch of the Norwalk Public Library.
Snider added, "America's wildlife refuges offer great places to teach our children the importance of making a lifelong commitment to our nation's natural resources. Exploring the outdoors and learning how all living things are connected to one another is what National Wildlife Refuge Week is all about.
"In Connecticut we are fortunate to have the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. Encompassing more than 900 acres of forest, barrier beach, tidal wetland and islands, the refuge consists of 10 separate units along the Connecticut coast from Westbrook to Greenwich. The Norwalk Islands of Chimon, Peach, Goose and Sheffield, which are part of the McKinney Refuge, are a wonderful place to nourish our spirits and reconnect with the land. Friends of the Norwalk Islands is proud to be working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve, protect and enhance the environment, recreational and cultural significance of the Norwalk Islands and to promote the National Wildlife Refuge System."