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New Opportunities Encourage Teachers, Parents & Kids to ‘Explore the Blue’
9/24/2011
Credit:
RBFF Press Release
With back-to-school season underway, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Discovery Education are working to reinforce what many young people have been doing all summer – gaining a genuine appreciation for the great outdoors.

In 2010, to build on its successful Take Me Fishing™ campaign, RBFF partnered with Discovery Education to promote youth engagement in the great outdoors through the launch of the Explore the Blue program. This fun and educational resource allows K-5 teachers and parents to engage students in a dialogue about the importance of outdoor recreational activities, such as boating and fishing, as well as the value of clean and healthy natural resources.

The site now consists of an educator section with 28 cross-curricular standards-based lesson plans and a regional habitat map that details aquatic plants and animals throughout the U.S. The site also features a student section, which includes Thrill of the Catch, an educational, interactive game where students are provided the tools to develop and care for their own ecosystem as well as learn to become an angler.

This school year, Take Me Fishing and Discovery Education are taking many steps to promote the program. First, Take Me Fishing and Discovery Education are distributing a family-friendly public service announcement (PSA), which amplifies Explore the Blue as a powerful program designed to inspire students and their families to protect the world’s most valuable resources. The PSA includes video testimonials of elementary school students talking about their real-world perspectives on conservation.

“We believe that ExploretheBlue.com encourages families to maintain an active interest in outdoor activities like boating, fishing and aquatic conservation before those cold winter months approach,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “And we hope that teachers are able to use the site’s resources such as lesson plans and multimedia tools to bring the outdoors into their classrooms.”

On October 20 and 21, Discovery Education’s curriculum experts will also host an in-school event at Charles Barrett Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. This VIP event is designed to educate teachers about the classroom resources available to them on ExploretheBlue.com and to motivate students to get outdoors and become future conservationists.

Also this year, Discovery Education and Take Me Fishing will further their commitment to education by attending the National Science Teachers Association Conference from November 10 to 12 in New Orleans, La. The organizations plan to host an Explore the Blue workshop, which will provide an overview of the program, demos of the site’s resources, and hands-on lessons. In addition, teachers may register for the Explore the Blue Fall 2011 webinar series, which will feature tips and tricks that will enable teachers to re-activate their students during the back-to-school phase by using the variety of resources found on ExploretheBlue.com.

“The Explore the Blue program not only raises awareness about conservation education, but it also instills in young people a desire to engage in outdoor activity as a means of protecting our environment,” said Discovery Education Vice President of Education Partnerships Mary Rollins. “We are confident that families and teachers will continue to recognize the benefits of Explore the Blue and utilize it to encourage student participation in outdoor activities and conservation issues.”

To learn more about this program, visit ExploretheBlue.com.