Grace College’s Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Classroom Lake Experience program distributed 29 aquariums during the 2016-2017 school year and hosted aquatic petting zoos in six schools.
As part of the Classroom Lake Experience program, aquariums are located in classrooms, libraries and community centers around Kosciusko County to educate students and residents about caring for local lakes and streams. Each aquarium houses a variety of fish species found in local waterways, including bluegill, bass and catfish, and crayfish.
The Classroom Lake Experience program originally started as a K-12 education effort. However, the aquariums can now also be found in local community centers and offices including North Webster Community Center, Syracuse Community Center, and Kosciusko Community YMCA. These aquariums provide an opportunity for community education concerning Kosciusko County’s lakes that stretches beyond the classroom.
Each aquarium is sponsored by a local business. Sponsors this year include Cargill, City of Warsaw, CTB, Inc., The Dekko Foundation, Paragon Medical, Hand Family Foundation, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, The Papers, Syracuse Lake Association, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Winona Lake Preservation Association, and Zimmer Biomet.
In addition to aquariums, the Lilly Center also brought aquatic petting zoos to kindergarten classrooms across the county during the 2016-2017 school year. Through this program, students learn about and interact with crayfish, catfish, turtles, and frogs. This year’s sponsors include The Papers, Inc., Louis Dreyfus Commodities, The Dekko Foundation, and Anderson Farms.
These unique, hands-on, educational programs would not be available without the support of local businesses and organizations. If your organization or business is interested in sponsoring the Lilly Center’s educational programs, visit lakes.grace.edu.