It’s not every day that a mermaid comes to visit the campus, but children at The Barry Robinson Center gathered around Mermaid Hales on Monday, September 11, for an undersea look at how they can help keep the environment clean.
Mermaid Hales travels throughout the Virginia Beach and Norfolk region, sharing stories written by Daniel R. Ford, a local children’s book author. The children enjoyed hearing her read, The Marlin and the Mermaid “Investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”
Earlier in the summer, Ford visited the campus and read his first book, Marlin and the Mermaid “Help Save the Bay.” The rhyming book, targeting students in grades K-4, takes readers on a journey in the Chesapeake Bay to find the source of pollution in the water.
From the children’s response, it’s clear many of them appreciate the environment and know how they can help protect it. Mermaid Hales engaged the children in lively discussion about picking up trash and recycling.
“Our students were excited about the reading program,” said Julie Carey, assistant director of education. “Overall, they enjoyed the story and were very engaged during the reduce, reuse and recycle discussion.”
While the children shared a healthy ocean-themed parfait created by The Center’s dietitian Paula Livernois especially for the event, Mermaid Hales read another story. The Brave Mermaid, written by her friend from Hawaii, Mermaid Kariel, taught important lessons about letting go of fears and sharing talents with others.
Bringing guests to campus to interact with residents is an important aspect of The Center’s education program. Enrichment activities such as guest readers give the children opportunities to learn and to reinforce listening and group participation skills.