One of EGEF’s most popular and most successful grants is “Meadowbrook by the Bay”. Originally approved in 2016, the grant brought local marine science education and environmental awareness into all of Meadowbrook Farms’ K – 2 classrooms, allowing students to gain a specific understanding of Narragansett Bay as a local resource with global impacts. 2017 saw an expansion of the grant, allowing every Meadowbrook student a chance to do field research on and about our bay.
The grant is championed by that school’s principal, Neil Marcaccio, who says his students “have gained new insights and understandings of the fundamental cycles and rhythms of Narragansett Bay and its links to local and global environmental and economic systems.”
“What always amazes us about our Save the Bay work is how surprised students are by the diversity of life in and around the bay and the importance of preservation efforts,” Marcaccio says. “Save the Bay provides students with interactive classroom and field-based experiences that provide meaningful and lasting perspective.
“Everything students do and learn takes a systems-based approach, with an emphasis on the interrelationships between natural and human impacts on the ecosystem. Students quickly learn to connect simple concepts into complex webs of cause and effect.”
Principal Marcaccio explains: “Prior to starting our EGEF-sponsored partnership with Save the Bay, we certainly expected students to gain some new insights and understandings related to stewardship and content. What has been a surprise is the extreme amount of retention, carryover, and application that has resulted from these periodic programs and follow-up activities.
“Students are really thinking about their role as caretakers and are able to share so much critical information with others. Quite a few parents have reached out to let me know how impressed they have been with their child’s knowledge of ecology and the need to preserve and protect. Another parent wrote to me to let me know her son was holding court at the beach, explaining the role of dune grasses in preventing the erosion of sand dunes. Students teaching others is about as good as it gets!”
We agree — and we are proud to support Meadowbrook by the Bay!