- Associated Press - Sunday, October 18, 2015

SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - When students at Snow Hill Elementary School learn about marine life, their newest educational tool can be found right in the school’s backyard.

Through a grant and partnership with the Pocomoke City Lowe’s Heroes program, the school built a pond for students to get a first hand look at how fish and other wildlife live.

“We wanted an outdoor learning space,” said principal Mary Anne Cooper. “A living, learning habitat that would be outside for children to work with their hands. An outdoor place where kids could come and practice what they’re learning in the classroom and bring it outside.”

About a dozen employees contributed more than 500 hours during the summer to put the pond together in time for the start of the school year, said store manager Scott Gausmann. Many of them had different areas of expertise and were able to help out in a variety of ways, he said.

“How many elementary schools do you have where you can go and see a pond and take a look at the fish and have a touch tank to really get the total outdoor learning environment,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll find that anywhere else on the Shore.”



Community members helped lay mulch and pathways, while the Worcester County Garden Club installed plants that will draw insects that will complement the pond. Local cub scouts built the trellis.

Science teacher Beth Shockley-Lynch will teach a variety of lessons to her kindergarten through third-grade students about the animals that live in the habitat. They’ll also be able to see how the habitat evolves as the seasons change.

“I love the amazement of the kids’ faces when we come out and feed (the fish),” she said. “It never gets old.”

Right now, the pond is stocked with koi. Shockley-Lynch said the school is working with outside agencies to bring other animals for the students to see.

“It’s pretty unique for us to have this and it’s an opportunity no other school has,” she said. “We’re going to take full advantage of it.”

Skylar Freistat, a second-grader, prefers going outside to learn, rather than staying inside a classroom.

“There’s more things to look at,” she said.

The pond is dedicated to the late Ruth Bowie, a member of the Worcester County Garden Club, which has had an ongoing partnership with the school for more than a decade.

___

Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., https://www.delmarvanow.com/

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide