IRW’s spring community program, Alewives: Small Fish, Big Impact, has officially kicked off in Washington County, starting with visits by Kimberly Ridley, author of The Secret Bay, at four elementary schools.
Over two weeks, IRW and Kimberly rode a whirlwind to schools across the county: Jonesport, Pembroke, Sipayik (Pleasant Point), and Edmunds. We also visited Lubec Consolidated School on March 24.
Each day’s agenda and activities varied from school to school, but typically included:
– an all-school presentation, during which Kimberly talked about estuaries and their importance as an ecosystem
– students across grades coming together to create an estuary in their gym or cafeteria, using bright blue lengths of fabric to simulate ocean meeting river (as one student explained,“where they kiss”), and friendly estuary creature “puppets,” painted by The Secret Bay illustrator Rebekah Raye, who will also be visiting the same schools in April and May as part of the alewives program
– Read Alongs of The Secret Bay with younger students
– Virtual estuary tour with a handpainted estuary landscape laid out on the floor, and photos of creatures/plants for students to place where they would be found in nature
– Workshops with students to write mini-memoirs – “A Day In My Life” – from the perspective of an estuary creature using observation and elements of story writing
– Students sharing their estuary research and projects with Kim
– Q & A sessions, during which students asked Kim about the life and work of a writer
– Book signing (every student received a copy of The Secret Bay)
Two additional school visits, at Beals Elementary School and Whiting Village School, were postponed until April due to inclement weather.
All told, IRW and Kimberly Ridley served 482 students and distributed 536 books to Washington County students and teachers during two fantastic weeks.
Coming up next – Rebekah Raye!