Just in case you haven’t checked in with us lately, I thought I would bring you up to date on activities and successes in our educational programs.
The Education Department team of Pearce Augustenborg, Nadia Kluesner, Ryan Boyer and JT Telischak are proving to be very talented, capable and hugely creative. Their knowledge of history, science, the arts and love of the outdoors shows in every project they tackle. They are ably assisted by Leeanne Criswell who follows up with all registration, teacher materials and other needs of the department.
Here are Nadia and Pearce at the opening of the Art in the Gardens outdoor sculpture exhibit (with more than 20 schools from all over Lee County) demonstrating hands-on bubble physics in the butterfly garden. They will also be teaching all of the 11 weeks of summer camp. In addition, we are at the final stage of the selection process for college interns and high school and middle school volunteers to assist with the summer camp. Many of the summer sessions are full, with waiting lists only remaining.
Ryan Boyer now heads the Road Scholar program at Edison Ford. It has been a hugely successful six month program, with participants coming from all over the globe and also registrants from Southwest Florida. Ryan has received accolades from the participants this year because of his history knowledge and presentation skills. In addition to Ryan, frequently Matt Andres, Edison Ford historian and registrar, provides behind the scenes tours and lectures to this program.
The outreach science and school programs have benefited from the educational skills of historian and outdoor enthusiast, John Telischak (JT). In addition to teaching programs, JT is frequently at Bell Tower Shops for their “KIDding Around” series and in the Edison Ford Shoppe for more hands-on activities.
As in any program though, funding is important and we have had some very dedicated donors over the years including Don and Arlene Keehan (Advance Polymers), Trustee Steve Niehaus (GE), Charles and Sass Edwards (George M. Cox Trust), Fred Quinn (Quest Specialty Chemicals), and James English (Energid Robotics). In addition there are dozens of donors providing financial scholarships for summer camps and other programs throughout the year.