What’s Right With Schools: Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk Public Schools give students hands-on learning experiences

Whats Right With Schools

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Department of Education provided $11 million in federal funding to support grants to around 230 summer programs across the state. One of the programs receiving funds for their summer partnership is Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium and Norwalk Public Schools.  

The partnership formed during the winter as the superintendent worked on ways to build an enhanced summer school program. Tom Naiman is the Vice President of Education at the aquarium.

“We’ve created a truly integrated program in which we feel the aquarium experiences will support and be supported by what’s happening in the classroom and the schools,” Naiman told News 8. 

The goal is to pay extra attention to the students who scored lower on their testing this last year and showed a lag in learning.

“Our ambition is for the aquarium to be a true extension of the classroom,” Naiman said.

The program runs five days a week and for an entire day each week, the students come to the aquarium for a unique hands-on learning experience.  

Rob Riddell has been an educator for more than 20 years. He is now a teacher with the Norwalk Summer Academy.

“With learning loss last year and just experiences the students missed out on, programs like this are really important to get our kids back on track,” Riddell told News 8.

“Students were for some instances inside their homes for months at a time, just the ability to come out and interact with something in their community,” Riddell added.

Getting the chance to interact and learn all while getting back on track. It’s a program that’s getting students ready for the fall after a pandemic year.  

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