The Sanborn Sun February - March 2000

Summer Teacher
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 Bay. 

     "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!