Explore and Roar
It’s safe to say all of us are looking forward to summer at this point. But while many of us are focused on green grass and coatless strolls, zoo educators and their partners in the Chicago Public Library are planning a whole summer of learning for Chicago kids.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo and the library are partnering to develop “Explore and Roar,” a Summer Learning Challenge that will keep kids engaged—and building knowledge—when school’s out. It’s a big undertaking. The zoos’ educators have worked for months to develop eight weeks of fun animal activities. But it’s a great chance to reach students throughout the city, highlighting both the importance of wildlife and the excitement of learning.
On Tuesday, the zoo was proud to welcome a group of 100 librarians representing youth-services crews from branches throughout the city. They toured the zoo and learned about innovative zoo education programming, including our award-winning Observe to Learn app. But they also continued to develop the curriculum that reached 71,000 students last year.
The Chicago Public Library is a natural partner for Lincoln Park Zoo. We’re both free institutions, with a commitment to knowledge and a deep connection with the surrounding community. It’s exciting to team up with them on such an important undertaking. “Explore and Roar” is scheduled to debut in every library branch on June 9. If you have kids, I encourage them to pick it up and take the Summer Learning Challenge.
The librarians weren’t the only noteworthy visitors for the zoo this week. I was joined by directors from San Diego Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Henry Doorly Zoo, Zoo Boise, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Shedd Aquarium to discuss new initiatives to save endangered species. I look forward to sharing more details on this essential work soon.