Green Reef, a local based environmental organization headed by Mr. Mito Paz, introduced their Environmental and Educational Program to the schools in San Pedro Town during the month of September, 1997. These educational efforts were done free of charge.
According to Mr. Paz, Green Reef's Environmental and Educational Program is geared towards students, teachers, tour guides, fishermen and the general public. He hopes to educate people and to make them aware of the importance of our marine life and especially our barrier reef.
As of October 14th, Mr. Paz along with the help of Greg Smith, has visited Lidia's Institute of Fine Education (LIFE) and has given 5 lectures, consisting of a wealth of information and a slide show presentation. The lecture was offered to every class at LIFE. At the R.C. School they have completed 9 lectures and have received praise from both teachers and students about the wonderful job they are doing. At the Island Academy, Mr. Robert Polk - science teacher, has also been lecturing on the reef and its marine inhabitants, with the help of Green Reef's slide show equipment and information. Mr. Paz explained that the Island Academy has chosen to adapt the presentations into their curriculum and to study marine life more in depth. Green Reef also has a special program with the high school students in which they are introduced to basic reef ecology and even visit the reef, where they learn to measure salinity and oxygen.
According to Katy Brickey, Standard V and VI teacher at the R.C. School, the impact of the program on the children has been great. "They have been here three times already and the kids get more involved each time. It's a wonderful idea and the way they are doing it is just great. They are showing the kids how important and how lucky Belize is and what they have is the only one in the world. It's nice to see members of the community get to work with the kids. They spend 3 hours here in hot classrooms answering questions patiently." She went on to explain that Green Reef has sculpted their lectures around what the children are being taught. "Green Reef's methods's are subtle, not pounding on the head." she continued. "The children are making the decision to preserve what they have on their own. They are enthusiastic and involved."
Green Reef will be visiting Maestro Reyes' School, St. Peter's College, Little Angel's Pre-school, ABC Pre-school and San Pedro Pre-school. The Green Reef Educational team consists of Mr. Paz, Mr. Smith, Mr. Polk - Island Academy teacher, and trainees - Mario Graniel and Eddie Alamilla.
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