RUSKIN — Before students return to the classrooms, Camp Bayou officials want them to soak up as much of the outdoors as possible.
As part of their support of the No Child Left Inside Coalition, Camp Bayou in Ruskin is hosting a Back to School — Back to Nature event Saturday with activity stations and free school supplies.
Children can net water insects, identify butterflies, learn about metamorphosis and look at fossils at Paleo Preserve. They can also draw, make pinch pots and watch a butterfly release at noon.
It's free and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Camp Bayou, at the end of 24th Street SE in Ruskin.
Free school supplies, including paper and pencils, will be handed out after children complete each station, and free raffle tickets will be handed out for larger items, such as backpacks.
There will also be a "teacher exchange area," where teachers can donate items from their classrooms that they no longer use and pick up items that others have donated.
Camp Bayou is providing some items, such as fish tanks, educational posters and water testing kits.
Families and teachers must register by either e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (813) 641-8545.
Adults should include their names, the number of children attending, the name of their schools and their ZIP codes. Teachers should include their grade level and school.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 661-2443.