Article by Jenn H.
Web Site by Leanne M.
Summer vacation .
. . relaxation and no more work for students . . and teachers?
Most students may expect to see their teachers tanning along side of them
at the beach or having some quiet time at their house. Sheila Roberge,
an English teacher at Sanborn Regional High School, chooses not to spend
her summer vacations relaxing at her house or on the beach, instead she volunteers
at Sandy Point Discovery Center.
The Discovery Center
is located at the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Stratham,
New Hampshire. It serves as an environmental interpretation center
and incorporates many techniques for learning. The center has been open for
about six years but is only open to the public from May to October.
"During the summer,
I volunteer two to three times a week, and a morning of afternoon on Saturday,"
said Mrs. Roberge. "As a volunteer (in May and June), I count horse
shoe crabs, because they’re dwindling in numbers. Mostly I volunteer in the
Center itself, and I give lectures on the wet table, and the different tidal
and echo zones. I also identify tress and plants on the nature trail."
She is very energetic about the Discovery
Center and being a part of the all-women working team. Her favorite part
of it all?
"The kids, definitely
the children. But I guess that’s just the teacher in me." The teacher
in her shone through as she bustled around the Center, giving a tour.
She was always open for questions. The petite woman knows a vast amount
of information about the Center, its history, about the wildlife, and Great
"I’ve learned a lot.
They expect you to learn a lot. You have to go for classes, for nine
weeks, an hour class per week," stated Mrs. Roberge without any hint of annoyance.
They also run a program for at risk children
who attend school in Portsmouth. Each Saturday three or four students
are paired with an intern from the University of New Hampshire and they use
the Center’s resources to learn more about science and related academic areas.
They frequently have guest speakers during the summer, who are highly entertaining
to the children.
When asked why she
decided to do volunteer work she said, "I wanted to do something other than
English. My husband and I have always been interested in nature and
science, and we belong to lots of different societies." Being involved
in the environment is very important and the Sandy Point Discovery Center
is all about being involved, not only with the community but with the environment
as well. So are the people that work there!