Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Education

Hernando Christian Academy kindergarteners get hands-on lesson on reptiles, shell fish and more

BROOKSVILLE

The children petted a python, marveled at a giant scorpion, raked through sand for shells and examined fish during the culminating activity in a marine science unit in Nadine Sioma's kindergarten class at Hernando Christian Academy.

"We're doing a unit on the ocean, and we're doing animals and reptiles," Sioma said. "I couldn't take them to the gulf, so I brought the gulf to them."

She said she caught some of the specimens herself.

"Publix gave me a few things, and some of the parents brought things, but I caught the shark myself," she said of the small blacktip.

To add to her collection, Sioma invited John Anderson and Tracy Ervin, owners of J&T Reptiles and Exotics to HCA. They brought the snakes and the emperor scorpion, along with some snake skins, which they passed around. They had a gray-banded king snake, a Taiwan beauty rat snake and a ball python.

Sioma instructed her children at a long table set up outside her classroom. The fish, shells, a crab, king crab legs and a sea star were identified, and the children were allowed to examine them.

"We're teaching some conservation, and I'm trying to teach positives about sharks," Sioma said.

She wants the children to become aware at an early age not to abuse nature and natural resources.

"We have such wonderful natural resources here," she said.

She had also set up three pools. Two were filled with water and one with sand. One watery pool had shells, sponges, coral, sea stars and a seahorse for the children to touch. The other had shells and plastic marine toys, and the students were invited to scoop them up with nets. The pool with the sand had shells in it, and the children played with shovels and claws.

At the netting pool, a couple of children had filled a pail with plastic critters, causing others to complain that there was little left to scoop. Sioma took the opportunity to reinforce a lesson: "Catch and release," she said.

The children seemed to enjoy the outdoor activities.

Levi Scozzafava, 6, was most impressed with the python. His little brother, Trevan, 4, who had come for the afternoon to see the special lesson, preferred the scorpion.

"I like to see them," he said.

Mackenzie Harvey, 6, liked the shark.

"Because it looked beautiful," she said.

Her favorite snake was "Charlie," the rat snake, "because it's big."

And some of the children learned a few things.

"I learned that some of the snakes tied their prey, and once it's dead they eat it," said Chloe Liebler, 6.

Mark Sanchez, 6, found out something else.

"Snakes roll up in a ball and they get really scared and they roll up in a ball," he said.

The class finished the marine unit with a trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

 
Comments
After parents object, Pinellas halts active shooter training videos for younger kids

After parents object, Pinellas halts active shooter training videos for younger kids

After a torrent of complaints, the Pinellas County school system is scrapping its plans to show a video to elementary school students in preparation for state-mandated active shooting drills to begin soon.The reaction came from parents after the dist...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Dade City students shop with cops for back-to-school goodies

Dade City students shop with cops for back-to-school goodies

DADE CITY — Dade City police, led by acting Chief James Walters, loaded 17 elementary and middle-school students into police cruisers. The children were beaming — no one was in trouble.Each student was off to "Shop with a Cop" for $100 worth of schoo...
Published: 08/20/18

School notes for Aug. 24

School calendar• Aug. 28/30: Adult education graduation.• Sept. 3: Labor Day, no school.• Sept. 14: Progress reports.Theatre/Music/ArtThe Pasco Schools educational series Learn it Live! returns, bringing special performances to two school theater ven...
Published: 08/20/18
Hernando’s Westside Elementary celebrates its A grade

Hernando’s Westside Elementary celebrates its A grade

SPRING HILL — Only a few years ago, Westside Elementary was struggling. During the 2013-14 school year, the school received a D grade from the state. It would have been an F if not for the state’s "safety net" rule, which prevents schools from droppi...
Published: 08/20/18

Epilogue: Tampa’s Mother Teresa, Delia Sanchez, remembered as child welfare champion

Delia P. Sanchez collected things — purses, shoes, newspapers. She hid them away in a storage unit, out of sight from her tidy husband. She had her reasons. And not one of them was selfish. The extra accessories? Those were for the mothers of...
Published: 08/18/18
A USF milestone: Three new dorms, more than 6,300 students living on campus

A USF milestone: Three new dorms, more than 6,300 students living on campus

TAMPA — The paint on Pinnacle Hall’s white-and-gold walls still smelled fresh as Lilly Myskey led a parade of parents and bins and bags down the hall toward her new room at the University of South Florida. "Speaking of the building being brand-new, L...
Published: 08/17/18
Florida girl denied school lunch because she was 15 cents short, mother says

Florida girl denied school lunch because she was 15 cents short, mother says

A sophomore at University High School in Volusia County was denied lunch on her first day of school Tuesday because she owed 15 cents, according to WKMG in Orlando.The girl’s mother, Kimberly Aiken, told WKMG a cashier in the school’s lunchroom threw...
Published: 08/16/18
Brooksville pastor challenges longtime principal trying for reelection to Hernando’s District 5 School Board seat

Brooksville pastor challenges longtime principal trying for reelection to Hernando’s District 5 School Board seat

Hernando County School Board District 5 incumbent Susan Duval seconded the motion to fire superintendent Lori Romano on June 12. And that’s why Joe Santerelli said he filed to run against her about a week later.A week after that, the local pastor spo...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Candidates for Hernando’s District 3 School Board seat talk mental health, technical education

Candidates for Hernando’s District 3 School Board seat talk mental health, technical education

As Hernando County School Board member Beth Narverud makes her run for a spot on the County Commission, three hopefuls are running to fill her District 3 seat.One is Jimmy Lodato, a Tampa native and 19-year Hernando resident. Retired from a career in...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Incumbent chairman and newcomer battle for Hernando’s District 1 School Board seat

Incumbent chairman and newcomer battle for Hernando’s District 1 School Board seat

Mark Johnson was elected to the Hernando County School Board in 2014. He said his successful track record, combined with local business savvy, make him the clear choice over Catherine "Kay" Hatch for the District 1 seat."It’s not just an opportunity ...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/17/18