Summer Learning: Conservancy distributes free Learning Kits for third year in a row

Photo courtesy Catalina Island Conservancy Liam Kline takes a closer look at the educational items in his new Marine Learning Kit.

Conservancy distributes free Learning Kits for third year in a row

By Jessica Boudevin

For the third summer in a row, Catalina Island Conservancy’s Education Department created learning kits for Catalina Island youth.

The program has reached more than 300 families since distribution of the kits began. The Families in Nature Learning Kits encourage Avalon students to continue learning throughout the summer.

“Summer is the perfect time for Avalon youth to explore Catalina’s unique ecology and learn more about their Island home,” said Conservancy Sr. Director of Education Leah Melber.

“This year’s Marine Learning Kit has all the tools they need to make a day at the beach both fun and educational,” said Melber.

The marine-themed kits provide bilingual lessons and activities, field guides, journaling materials, and tools for science observation to help developing Catalina Jr. Naturalists explore the community’s shorelines.

The learning kits help today’s youth develop an appreciation for local ecology, fostering the next generation of Island stewards.

“Learning kits provide children with the resources to actively explore the natural world. This experiential learning builds confidence, inspires creativity and creates a personal connection to science learning,” Melber added.

The Conservancy disseminated the Marine Learning Kits on July 12 at the Catalina Island Conservancy House.

Kids came on their own or with friends to claim their kits, many walking away hugging the backpacks to their chests. A summer camp stopped by to pick up kits for the kids as they made their way down to Lover’s Cove, a great place to use the tools in the Marine Learning Kits for the first time. One parent mentioned that their son recently used the bird guide from last year’s learning kit to identify a bird he saw in their backyard.

“With their free marine-themed kits, Avalon youth can learn how to identify shorebirds as well as tidepool inhabitants,” said Conservancy Sr. Education Specialist Cressita Bowman.

Kits were provided free of charge to local families thanks to the support of L.A. County Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Learners are invited to bring their kit and dive deeper into the materials with the Conservancy’s Education Team on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Look for more information about this and other future events on and the Conservancy’s social media pages.