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March 27, 2020 in Local News

Weekly Dose of Community with Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Weekly Dose Of Community Quote Template
Welcome to your Weekly Dose of Community!

We know this new normal still doesn't feel normal at all. Yet, over the past few weeks, we have been blown away to see how our community has stepped up in major ways during this time of unprecedented crisis. From individuals to organizations to small local businesses, Cape Codders have been creative and adaptable in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching out to their neighbors in entirely new ways to lend a hand and show that we are all in this together.

Every Thursday morning, CCYP will be highlighting a Cape community member or organization working to provide resources, support, and positivity to our community in a time when we need it most. Consider this your weekly dose of community connectedness - even when we're far apart!

This week, we're highlighting Marianne Long from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and their creative online programming! Read more from Marianne below >>

Can you share a basic overview of the program or support you’ve set up in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis?

Usually this time of year our education team is going into schools to provide enrichment programs and bring shark education into the classroom. With school closures, we wanted to try and still offer that enrichment in some way, as well as provide a form of online learning for families looking for ways to engage their kids. Our program consists of reading a story or presenting a lesson, followed by a series of live Q&A. We are also building out a page on our website with supplemental activities - book reviews, writing prompts, art projects, etc. All things that allow students to take what they learned from the book or lesson and review that information or take it further with some critical thinking questions.

What was your goal when initiating this program?

We are all in this together. We wanted to do something to help our community, and with school closures, offering online learning was a way we felt we could help. It has been fun for us, since we are all working from home, to still be able to work with youth and provide them with this content. We are excited to see the number of people who are tuning in each day and taking advantage of the resources we can provide. No one had a lot of time to prepare to have kids [out of school], and we know many districts are still trying to put together learning packets. We are all doing the best we can to get through this time, and we hope that our lessons help engage and entertain youth for a little while during the day.

What sort of response are you seeing? How has the community responded?

We have viewers from around the world, and they are of all ages. We have had a lot of messages from adults who are watching to take a break from the news, as well as kids of various ages who are learning and getting excited about sharks. On our first day, we had over 8K people watching live- which was far more than we anticipated, but we are excited that people are sharing this resource and encouraging others to utilize it. People have sent us messages thanking us for providing the content, and it is driving us to create more and look at other online tools we can use to enhance the programs and offer more for the community. We just released our schedule for next week and are already brainstorming for week 3!

We are all doing the best we can to get through this time, and we hope that our lessons help engage and entertain youth for a little while during the day.