Ocean In Motion
We have an incredible opportunity to bring the ocean directly to the children who cannot visit us, and a chance to get an additional $25,000 if you give today.
Most children living in the Sioux Falls region will never see the ocean, let alone interact with its incredible creatures. Through our Ocean In Motion outreach program we will be able to bring the ocean to many children and adults who do not have the ability to travel to the Butterfly House & Aquarium due to financial, health, or mobility limitations. Thanks to a generous matching gift from Kate Florio and Larry Burris, every gift we receive before the end of the year will be doubled, up to $25,000.
We are so passionate about sharing the ocean with our landlocked children, we do whatever it takes to make it happen, including using our personal vehicles and driving coolers full of animals to the schools.
Recently our staff visited Building Blocks in Brandon for an ocean outreach program. Jen, Lindsey, and Cortney loaded up coolers with starfish, a sea urchin, and a sea cucumber, filled totes with educational supplies, and packed them all into the back of Lindsey’s RAV4.
Once they arrived at their destination (with saltwater sloshing along the way), they took multiple trips to unload all of their supplies and set up for the 1-hour presentation with the kids. Yet all of the work and mess was worth it when the kids and teachers entered the room and their faces lit up.
The children were delighted to see the ocean animals up close and to even be able to touch them! When the kids were asked what they thought afterwards, the excitement and fascination were clear: Allison exclaimed, “I love the colorful starfish!” Erin observed, “The pickled fish was so cool!” (referencing our sea cucumber J) and Austin giggled, “The slobber guy was my favorite!”
In today’s world of limited funding and transportation options, teachers need programs like Ocean in Motion to instill courage, curiosity, and wonder for the natural world in their students. Teacher Suzie noted, “This was a great hands-on educational experience for all of the kids,” and co-teacher Marissa stated, “I love to see the kids’ reactions to the hands-on activities.”
These comments show the incredible value the ocean outreach visits provide to children and teachers. Knowing this community benefit, we recently received a mobile touch pool through a grant. But the touch pool will stay sitting in our lobby until we are able to transport it.
Your donation will allow us to purchase a van that is specially built to transport our touch pool – unlike our employees’ personal vehicles J! Your gift will also fund the educational supplies and programming costs needed to implement Ocean in Motion. And right now, we have a special opportunity with a matching gift of up to $25,000 to make Ocean in Motion a reality for our local landlocked children. Today, every dollar you give can have double the impact!
It’s thanks to contributions from friends like you, families throughout the region are now captivated by the ocean’s beauty in the Cove. We need your support if we are going to be able to bring the ocean to children and adults who are unable to come to us. Your year-end contribution can ensure we are able to reach as many children as possible throughout the Sioux Falls Region.
Thank you for helping us bring the ocean to the children who cannot visit the Butterfly House & Aquarium!