Sanibel Sea School Blog

A Chance to ‘Sea’: Unforgettable Field Trips with Child Care of Southwest Florida

August 22, 2023
kids playing in sand

Sanibel Sea School is on a mission to provide enriching ocean-based experiences for children, regardless of their financial means.

As part of these outreach efforts, Sanibel Sea School partners with the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center — part of the Child Care of Southwest Florida network — to offer free and educational field trips, providing young minds the opportunity to connect with nature and learn about the ocean’s fascinating creatures. 

Three unforgettable field trips occurred over the summer (July 3, July 24, and Aug. 7), taking the children on a thrilling journey of beach exploration, learning about sea turtles, and seining. Students were thrilled to be surrounded by sun, sand, and the vast ocean.

child playing in sand

“We uncovered the mysteries of the marine world as we engaged in seining and exploration activities. With nets in hand, the young adventurers carefully explored the shallow waters,” said SCCF Youth Education Director Shannon Rivard. “As they gathered around the net, they were thrilled to identify fish, crabs, shrimps, and other fascinating creatures caught in their haul.”

Marine Science Educators helped provide valuable insights about each animal, its unique characteristics, and its role in maintaining the ocean’s ecological balance.

a chance to sea sanibel sea school

The partnership between Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center and Sanibel Sea School has proved a resounding success, igniting a passion for ocean exploration and conservation among young participants.

“These field trips have allowed the children to connect with nature and fostered a sense of stewardship and responsibility towards the environment,” Rivard said.

Monthly classroom visits and field trips to the beach are already scheduled for the upcoming academic year, and Marine Science Educators are thrilled to continue exploring with students for its sixth year of programs.

Through these partnerships, Sanibel Sea School hopes to exemplify the true spirit of community outreach and inclusivity, Rivard said.

“These unforgettable experiences will undoubtedly impact students, inspiring them to cherish and protect the oceans for generations to come,” she said. “As we continue to invest in partnerships through A Chance to Sea, we pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future deeply connected to the wonders of the natural world.”

Learn more about the program and how to become an outreach partner.

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