Us Bancorp Donates To Aquarium Education Programs

October 26, 2006

The programs bring marine education to all corners of the state

The Oregon Coast Aquarium received a grant from US Bancorp last week, assisting the Aquarium with one of its primary objectives; to foster an informed stewardship of the coastal environment. A $5000 grant received from US Bancorp will help fund onsite and outreach programs during the 2006-2007 school year.

US Bank Newport Branch Manager, Sherrie Payne-Marvin presented the donation to Aquarium President Dale Schmidt. “US Bank takes education very seriously and with education dollars hard to come by, we try to help where we can,” said Payne-Marvin.

Aquarium programs are reaching more students according to Schmidt. “We are increasing the number of students we can reach and this donation will enable us to continue to bring quality programs to students through outreach programs as well as onsite.” Schmidt said all Aquarium exhibits and programs focus on coastal habitats, from the forests of the Coast Range, through rivers and estuaries, to the shoreline and the open sea. “It is a complex story that we tell—what makes the coastal ecosystem special, how the habitats work together and what can affect them,” said Schmidt.

Last year nearly 24,000 students, teachers and chaperones visited the Aquarium and utilized the facility as a living classroom. An additional 16,825 students from 667 classes benefited from the Aquarium's outreach programs. This is the third consecutive year the Aquarium has received funding from the US Bancorp Foundation in support of its education programs.

Almost four million visitors have taken in educational exhibits and programs since the Aquarium opened in May of 1992. Those visitors came from Newport, from all over Oregon and the nation and from Japan, Germany and many other countries. Through programs and exhibits, the Aquarium creates high-quality, innovative, enjoyable educational opportunities, using diverse approaches.

All of the Aquarium’s educational programs and materials have been designed to address Oregon's Common Curriculum Goals and specific Benchmark Standards, offering over 30 different theater and laboratory programs, self-guided tours with pre and post visit materials, Home School Week and statewide outreach.

Upcoming outreach destinations include fifteen Oregon counties, the first of which was about whales in two programs held in Klamath County. The 45-minute assembly programs feature slides, prepared animal specimens, costumes and life-sized inflatable animals. The programs target two age groups; kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade.