Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Critters are part of the curriculum at Seven Springs Elementary

Jamie Lovins, 6, was a little wary but still thought the Florida evening bat was “cool” during a presentation by Jennifer Smith of the Florida Bat Conservancy of Bay Pines.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Jamie Lovins, 6, was a little wary but still thought the Florida evening bat was “cool” during a presentation by Jennifer Smith of the Florida Bat Conservancy of Bay Pines.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Did you know that there are more than 1,000 species of bats and that they live on every continent except for Antarctica? Or that bats are mammals that groom themselves like a cat, and they actually fly with their webbed hands, not wings?

Did you know that many trees and plants depend on bats for pollination purposes, and that the nocturnal creatures eat more than 3,000 insects every night? Or that even though you should never, ever touch a bat found in the wild, contrary to popular belief, only one-half of 1 percent actually carry rabies — and that the largest carriers of rabies are actually raccoons and skunks?

That's a lot of information to absorb, and it's just the tip of the iceberg of what kids were learning from the various critters (and their handlers) that came to Seven Springs Elementary School last week.

The students were treated to an informative presentation by Jennifer Smith of the Florida Bat Conservancy. Smith brought along a slide show featuring some of the bat species from around the world, and a couple of Florida bats for the kids to see up close see but not touch.

Melinda Mendolusky, manager of the Animal Ambassador program at Lowry Park Zoo, showed up the next day with her mini-menagerie that included an Australian green tree frog, a barn owl, a Florida pine snake and a South American Prehensile porcupine.

"This is wonderful," said Michele Gant, who teaches students in kindergarten and first grade. "It really goes well with what we've been studying: animals and their habitats. This is perfect for what we've been doing."

To learn more

• The animal presentations at Seven Springs Elementary were paid for, in part, with funds raised from the Box Tops for Education program, said media specialist Lorna Conley. Students throughout the school have been collecting the box tops, and most can be redeemed for 10 cents apiece. For information about Box Tops for education, go to www.box
tops4education.com.

• For information about the Florida Bat Conservancy go to www.floridabats.org.

• For information about the Lowry Park Zoo Animal Ambassadors program, go to www.lowryparkzoo.com.

Critters are part of the curriculum at Seven Springs Elementary 12/02/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 3:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida

    College

     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  4. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion

    Retail

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  5. Advice for presidents from military families they've tried to console

    War

    One family returned the letter because it was full of errors. Another was left cold when the letter they got screamed "robo-pen." Still another was puzzled to find 17 copies of their letter in the mailbox.

    Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Cowan, 37, was killed in a helicopter training accident in South Korea on Feb. 26, 2005. [Courtesy of Kari Cowan]