Looking for programming that includes parents, children, teens, science, and a local partnership? Check out the the Scituate (Mass.) Town Library for inspiration. The library partnered with the local Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to develop a series to “connect children and parents to their local sanctuary and offer science, math, art, and language arts content through a real-world context.” Titled “A Child’s Sanctuary,” the series highlights the library’s resources while bringing attention to the sanctuary, which stretches between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, ten miles off the shores of Scituate. The sanctuary is home to an wide variety of wildlife as well as a number of shipwrecks.
The first program in the series, “Whales in Your Backyard,” invited children to “listen to a story, try on a blubber glove and eat like a whale.” The second, “Sanctuary Seabirds,” highlighted the fifty-three species of seabirds that live at the sanctuary and gave children the chance to listen to a story, bird watch, draw birds, and more. The final program, “Bottom of the Sea,” to be held on August 13, will allow participants to map a shipwreck and drive a model remote-operated vehicle as well as learn about the life found on the sanctuary’s bottom, including sponges, sea stars, and hermit crabs.
The series is intended for children in pre-kindergarten through late elementary. The library also provided an opportunity for teens to get involved; its youth volunteers could help run the program after receiving training by the sanctuary.