25th Anniversary Celebration of Regional Water Authority's Whitney Water Center Includes Mini-grants to Teachers

May 13, 2016

Distribution Solution. Liquid Assets. Water in My Community. Watersheds. These are some of the many programs offered by the Whitney Water Center, the Regional Water Authority’s education program. The Water Center is celebrating a major milestone this year: 25 years of teaching about water and the environment to schools, camps, and other organized groups in the Authority’s district.

“Water is one of our most precious, yet endangered, natural resources, which is why we offer environmental education programs that teach people how their actions affect ecological quality,” Larry L. Bingaman, President and CEO of the Regional Water Authority, said. “The 25th anniversary of our Whitney Water Center is an exciting opportunity to celebrate environmental education with the communities we serve.”

In recognition of this anniversary and to support good teachers doing good work, the Authority awarded five $500 mini-grants to educators in the region. The grants will enable teachers to try out creative teaching techniques and buy enriching teaching materials not provided for in their schools’ budgets. The project’s focus had to be environmental education, particularly about water.

Grant recipients:
Melissa Alcosser, Connecticut Experiential Learning Center, Branford. Alcosser plans to use the grant to have her students to do a more extensive study of an area along the Farm River in North Branford, focusing on comparing pond and river habitats to better understand the characteristics of these distinct, yet related, systems.

Karen Zwick, Cold Spring School, New Haven. Cold Spring School is setting up a touch tank so students in grades 2 through 6 at Cold Spring School can gain a deeper understanding of the creatures that live in Long Island Sound. Zwick will purchase a graphing calculator and a set of water testing probes so the students can test the local waters and maintain a healthy environment for the creatures in the touch tank.

Janie Lange, St. Thomas Day School, New Haven. Lange will use the grant to add a Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit to the curriculum this fall. The Leaf Pack kit enables students to design, implement, and analyze a scientific investigation while discovering the value of aquatic macroinvertebrates as living indicators of water quality.

Amanda Ocone and Shannon Knudsen, Cheshire Nursery School, Cheshire. Ocone and Knudsen will use the grant to purchase a water table and create a “mud kitchen” that will provide students with opportunities to develop their five senses through play. Play at the water table and in the “mud kitchen” will also allow students to develop fine and gross motor skills and opportunities for collaborative play.

About the Regional Water Authority (RWA)
The RWA provides consumers with high-quality water and services at a reasonable cost while promoting the conservation of watershed land and aquifers. On average, the RWA supplies 45 million gallons of water per day to 430,000 people in a 15-town region centered in New Haven and owns land in five others. The RWA is a recent recipient of the Platinum Award for Utility Excellence awarded by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the 2015 Utility of the Year Award presented by the New England Water Works Association.