Advanced Scuba Diver Graduates Eleven Ocean Academy Aquatic Tourism P.E. students are now Advanced scuba divers: Byron, Clifton, David, Denzel, Elizabeth, Estrella, Kyle, Lexee, Morgan, Mercedes, Yuma. Students even got to try out underwater photography. The scuba diving P.E. class was made possible because of the generous leadership and training provided by Belize Diving Services and volunteer instructors Pablo, Cal, Chip, Danielle and sponsor Patrick Savage
Night School Graduates Congratulations to the adults who enrolled in Ocean Academy's two night-school courses: E.S.L. (English as Second Language) and Spanish. After five weeks of language study the students earned their Level 1 certificates. Ocean Academy is pleased to extend educational opportunities to adults in the community and we hope to offer a Level 2, as well as computer classes, soon.
Marine Debris Turtle Project Ocean Academy students joined up with the Youth Environmental Club and ECOMAR to create an artistic message about the negative effects of marine trash on sea turtles. The goal was to create a turtle made entirely from marine trash that would be displayed at the 5th International Conference on Marine Debris in Hawaii. Students combed Caye Caulker's shore and collected plastic water "shilling bags", plastic bags, bottle caps, rope and hard plastics.
Hol Chan Marine Park Competition Idalia, Form II student, created the winning slogan (below) for the Hol Chan Marine Park Competition 2011: The Reef. Our Present, Our Future. Let's Protect It. Idalia invited her entire class and teachers to join her on the prize of a guided snorkel trip to the Hol Chan Marine Park.
Click here for more Ocean Academy photos and stories, such as:
- Science and World History class projects
- Baking and Art Electives
- Youth Sports Camp
- Mural Art
- and more!
Love of Learning: NASA Guest Speaker
Last week Ocean Academy welcomed Peter Smith to talk with students about the history, technology and future of Space Exploration. Our Science teacher and students also appreciated the donation of NASA posters, resources and space shuttle models. Thank you for inspiring future Belizean astronauts!
Love of Gardening: Cilantro and Basil
The school composting and gardening project produced it's first bonanza crop of cilantro, that students then sold to restaurants and villagers. Students plan to expand their culinary herb business with Cinnamon Basil seeds (Earth-based and Space) donated by NASA Education.
Love of Community: Valentine's Day
Interact Club members made Valentine Day cards for ten financially-needy families with the message that our hearts are in the community, and everyone is a valued member. After school the students visited homes to deliver food gift bags donated by Grace Foods and Caye Caulker Bakery.
Love for the Planet: Geotourism Challenge Results
Last month Ocean Academy was selected by an international panel of judges to be one of 12 finalists out of 250 entries from 54 countries. The theme was Saving Places on The Edge: Saving Coastal and Freshwater Destinations. The good news is that 2500 people read our project entry and learned about our innovative environmental education and aquatic tourism programs. Unfortunately, we did not ultimately win the competition prize, but thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.
You are one of one hundred donors who has raised $9,480 since December toward our goal of $35,000 to generate scholarships for 50 students. Thank you! On March 16th only, Global Giving will match each donation made (up to $1000) with a 30% top up! If you know someone who might also like to donate and join the Ocean Academy family of supporters, please tell them that March 16th would be a great day to start.
2011 is off to a great start, thanks in great part to your generosity in supporting innovative education programs at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy.
Afterschool Tutoring Program: Our dedicated teachers stay afterschool daily to help students in all subject areas. Math and English tutors always have large groups of students seeking individualized help. We see with each reporting period that this program is making a positive difference in student success rates, and your donations ensure that tutoring remains free of cost to students.
Be the Change You Wish To See In The World - This is the quote on our school mural, and the title of a short documentary made by volunteer Thiago Silva about Ocean Academy. Thiago chats with students about their dreams after graduation, and interviews co-founder Heidi Curry about the inspiration to start Ocean Academy. Your contributions to tuition scholarships is making it possible for these children to remain in school, believe that they will graduate, and work hard towards their goals. This is an opportunity for you to "meet' some of our students. The youtube link is attached.
Changemakers Geotourism Challenge 2010: Caye Caulker Ocean Academy is a finalist in an international competition called Changemakers Geotourism 2010 - Places on the Edge: Saving Coastal and Freshwater Destinations. The theme is innovative tourism solutions that protect the environment and strengthen the heritage and livelihoods of local residents.
Ocean Academy was selected as one of the 12 finalists out of 250 entries from 54 countries.The three projects who get the most online votes before February 2nd win $5000.
With your recent donation, you already made a wonderful contribution to innovative education in Belize. Please continue to support us and vote at www.changemakers.com/coasts.
Thank you, from Ocean Academy co-founders Heidi Curry, Joni Miller, Dane Dingerson, students and staff.
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