Summer Program Wrap Up by Ashley Gesner, Lloyd Center Education / Outreach Specialist
With careful planning and consideration, the decision had been made. Of course, there were nerves at first, the pandemic created a new situation and there was a level of uncertainty. However, there was also excitement! Lloyd Center for the Environment's summer programs are loved among staff, but how could they run them the same way; what would need to change? Seven weeks later, just like a typical summer, the time flew by and all the week long programs have been completed. Another successful summer at the Lloyd Center!
From the outside, the summer programs looked a little different. The Center's patio and green spaces had been transformed into an outdoor classroom and students were separated by the appropriate distance. This however, did not stop students socially, they still had lots of fun, and explored their surroundings. Students wore masks, and there were extra-long lines at the hand-washing station. Even before entering the outdoor classroom, students received a health screening and temperature check at the new check-in station. These procedures were all a part of the Lloyd Center’s new health and safety policy. With new cleaning practices at hand, educators were equipped with the right tools to keep the students safe while having fun learning. All these things allowed educators to do what they love - teach!
Although the appearance may have changed, summer programs did not. Once again, the Center's 82-acres of oak/hickory forest, with freshwater wetlands, saltmarsh, and estuary, were awakened by the joyous sounds of students. Students explored, discovered and cheered the moments of learning while at the same time, making connections with the environment around them. Summer programs engaged students in nature and science-themed lessons, adventures, and hands-on activities. With a little silliness mixed in, students became creative with free time play.
The Lloyd Center offered two programs based on grade level. Young Naturalist,designed for students aged six to eight, and a variety of Coastal Studies programs, geared to students aged eight to twelve. Even though the Lloyd Center's health and safety policy limited the number of students per pod, summer programs were well attended, with 35 students registered among the two programs, with many students participating in multiple weeks.
Now, more than ever, Lloyd Center Educators were very fortunate to be able to provide the opportunity of outdoor environmental education - to give students an outlet to learn, grow, and become active members of our environment.
Another successful summer at the Lloyd Center – due to the outpouring and endless support from community members who believe in the Center, the importance of our programs, and the Center's dedicated team of educators – we are truly grateful and look forward to incorporating what we gained this summer into future programs.
New this year, the Lloyd Center for the Environment is adding After School Programs for children ages six through ten! Held primarily outdoors, Lloyd Center Educators will take advantage of the outdoor classroom as they provide STEM activities and lessons for the students. The focus will be on habitat exploration, creature discoveries, and investigative wonders of the natural world, using hands-on games, activities, crafts, and trail walks. To learn more or to register, please contact Lloyd Center Education/Outreach Specialist Ashley Gesner at email@example.com or 774-628-9241. Registration must be for the full week (Monday-Friday).