Dozens of fifth-graders have learned about nature and the environment by sleeping, eating and learning at a four-day, three-night Newport Bay science camp as part of a program called Fostering interest in Nature.
The Daily Pilot’s article this week described how the FiiN program, in its freshman year, focuses on bringing students from Title I schools to Newport Beach’s Back Bay, where they can learn about the estuary and have “an outdoor experience they will never forget.” Over 10 weeks, nine groups of fifth-graders have participated.
Title I schools have large concentrations of students from low-income households and receive supplemental federal funds to help meet educational goals.
FiiN focuses primarily on educating students about watersheds, marine ecology and the history of the bay, but students also can go on hikes and a boat tour in addition to kayaking and exploring tide pools, according to the Daily Pilot. They camp outdoors at Camp James and are fed by Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, both of which partner with FiiN.
The program is currently on its fourth group of students. It expects to have hosted about 350 students by the end of its first year.
City staff said the program is open to any Title I school in Orange County, but students attending this year are from the Santa Ana and Newport-Mesa unified school districts.
“When I grew up, it was part of the curriculum that you can go out and you do a nature camp. But it was all done by the individual,” Heather Cieslak, director of operations for the Newport Bay Conservancy, told the Daily Pilot.
“My family had to fundraise or pay for it, and here, it’s an opportunity for these students if maybe their parents can’t afford it or are disconnected, that they can then come for this four-day, three-night program and get to experience it.”
FiiN is funded by the city of Newport Beach and the Lido House hotel as part of negotiations for the latter’s lease of city land after the California Coastal Commission said the city needed to find lower-cost visitor accommodations before it would approve the project.
Here are some other news articles from across the region for the week ending March 22.
- Students at Paul Revere Elementary School spent the afternoon Monday tossing footballs, spinning around tackling dummies and sprinting across obstacle courses. The drills were part of the NFL Play 60 program.
- Hundreds of preschool teachers and supervisors across California are getting training this year on how to support children whose families speak a language other than English at home.
- Orange County students and their families displayed discontent at a Youth Climate strike, demanding action from lawmakers to educate the public and work towards a solution to end climate change.
- Educators from Orange County and beyond will gather in May for a special forum to address the needs of vulnerable boys and young men in public schools. Attendees can register for the here for the event hosted by Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares called “Know My Name, Face and Story: Saving Our Most Vulnerable Boys and Young Men.”
- Seventeen Orange County schools have been recognized with awards from the California Courts system for implementing top-notch civic education programs — and eight of them are in the Anaheim Union High School District.
- Confident that a new Democratic supermajority in the California Legislature will back them, two state senators are proposing to ask voters in 2020 to make it easier for school district voters to pass parcel taxes.
- Tech leaders from school districts nationally have different concerns about cybersecurity and different strategies for addressing those concerns, which vary by the size of their school systems.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.