On July 24, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History will teach elementary school-aged children about sea turtles with photographs, stories, cookies and more.
The program will be led by Kristin Brown, a longtime volunteer with the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project. Brown will talk about her experience as a volunteer for the sea turtle project, including what volunteers do when the baby turtles hatch, with photographs and little turtle replicas that are the same size as hatchlings.
Following Brown’s talk, the group will read “I’ll Follow the Moon,” a Newberry Award-winning book about a hatched sea turtle trying to reach the ocean. The kids will then decorate sea turtle cookies.
Museum director Madeline Flagler said the topic was selected because museum staff sees how excited children get about the turtles when they come to the museum to buy sea turtle project merchandise.
“We see how excited young families are when they have been able to see a nest, or happen to be here when the sea turtles hatched,” Flagler said.
The program is created to be fun, but Flagler said she hopes the program will also educate and inspire kids.
“The more people are educated about what happens with the sea turtles, the more encouraged they are to help protect the nests and the ability of sea turtles to come here and proliferate,” Flagler said.
Flagler said 10 children have already signed up for the program. Families are welcome to show up the day of the event without registering beforehand.
“We have limited space in the museum but we just don’t turn people away,” Flagler said.
A 2013 donation from Sandy and Kathy Griffin allowed the museum to pursue its goal of providing more programming for guests of all ages.
“To be able to do children’s programming and to have funding for it was really a wonderful boon. Our programs can be enhanced and we can spend more time working on them,” Flagler said.
The donation funded monthly programs in 2014 through September. Flagler said she does not anticipate the programs ending in September, though.
“They have been so well received. With minimal publicity, we’ve gotten a lot of response. The classes are filled and the parents and the children come away excited about what they have learned and about what they’ve done. So we really feel like this has been a successful venture,” Flagler said.
The program starts Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. The next monthly program about shells will take place Aug. 14.