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School Programs

Each year the Sultana Education Foundation (SEF) helps more than 10,000 students experience the Chesapeake Bay and learn what they can do to restore North America’s largest estuary. SEF’s school programs complement existing classroom curricula and help participating schools fulfill their Environmental Literacy program requirements. Many of SEF’s core programs are certified by the Maryland State Department of Education. SEF’s core programs include:

Schooner SULTANA

A reproduction of a 1768 Royal Navy schooner, SULTANA provides an ideal platform for introducing students to the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. Onboard, students work with SEF’s professional staff to trawl for fish and crabs, explore the concept of water quality, learn about the importance of estuaries, and explore life in the 18th century. A variety of curriculum variants are available for schooner SULTANA programs.

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Paddling Programs

The Sultana Education Foundation’s (SEF) Paddling Programs allow students to safely captain their own canoe or kayak while exploring a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay near their school. SEF Paddling Programs focus on wetlands, shoreline, and shallow water ecology while making interdisciplinary connections with the history of the Chesapeake’s Native populations and the expeditions of Captain John Smith.

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Holt Education Center

SEF’s state-of-the art Holt Education Center hosts student programs focusing on biology, environmental science, geography, and related human history. Programs are tailored to fit specific school and grade-level goals, but can include organism dissection, animal physiology, geography, hydrology, estuary science, climate change, and Native American history. Programs at the Holt Center can easily be combined with other SEF programs to create a full-day or multi-day experience.

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Lawrence Preserve

SEF’s newest facility, the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve is an 8.5-acre urban nature center located in Chestertown, directly adjacent to the Foundation’s Holt Education Center. Lawrence Preserve programs provide an opportunity for students to explore fresh-water and terrestrial ecosystems while learning how land use in the watershed ultimately impacts the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Lawrence Preserve is also ideal for hands-on student service-learning projects. Please Note: The Lawrence Preserve is currently under development and will only offer limited programs through 2020.

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Watershed Watch

SEF regularly works with schools and school systems to develop in-depth citizen science programs that see students participate in a long-term habitat investigation producing tangible data and/or habitat improvement. Using Radcliffe Creek as a case study and following MWEE (Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience) program components, Watershed Watch helps students understand how watersheds function, how human activity impacts downstream water quality, and how communities can improve both their local tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay.

Watershed Watch Field Notebook
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Teacher Professional Development

Offered in partnership with organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, NOAA, and the National Park Service, SEF professional development programs provide opportunities for teachers to improve core content knowledge, refine pedagogy, and (for Maryland Teachers) earn required CPD (certified professional development) credits. Participants are generally recruited from SEF’s existing Partner Schools, however teachers from outside this group are occasionally able to participate.

Current Programs - none at this time
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Curriculum Aids

The Sultana Education Foundation has developed a wide variety of curriculum aids focusing on the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. Developed in conjunction with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the National Park Service, and classroom teachers, SEF’s curriculum materials meet MSDE’s Common Core Standards for science and social studies and can be easily integrated into the classroom setting.

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Scheduling & Funding

The Sultana Education Foundation is committed to ensuring that its programs are available to every student and provides over $200,000 in tuition support to participating schools each year. The costs of an SEF experience vary depending on the program, the number of participating students, the location, and the date. We recommend that you schedule your program as far in advance as possible as our program calendar fills quickly. If you are interested in pricing or scheduling an SEF program, please contact Chris Cerino at ccerino@sultanaeducation.org.

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