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Plum Canyon Elementary participates in CIMI

Posted: September 22, 2009 10:43 p.m.
Updated: September 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

As a parent of three children who are or have been students at Plum Canyon Elementary, I commend the school’s sixth-grade teachers and administrators.

There are 14 elementary schools in the Saugus Union School District and in years past, many participated in a program known as CIMI, the Catalina Island Marine Institute.

CIMI hosts students from all over for a week-long educational program. Students spend a week on the island learning oceanography, ecology and marine biology. I have been privileged to attend Camp CIMI with the Plum Canyon sixth-graders the past two years as a chaperone.

Instead of running on a field to meet P.E. requirements, students paddled a kayak on the ocean, feeling the salty air in their faces.

Instead of reading about sea life, students held that sea life in their hands. And instead of seeing pictures of fish in a book, the students swam with the fish and observed them in their natural habitat.

The students learn 10 times more in an environment such as this than they could ever learn in a classroom.  

That Plum Canyon is the only school involved in this program shows the dedication and excellence of its teachers and administration.

The other 13 district schools that do not participate should be ashamed they are not providing this kind of experience to their students.

I feel fortunate my three children attend Plum Canyon.

The school’s participation in CIMI demonstrates the enhanced educational experience its sixth-grade teachers and principal provide.

And while every year there are rumors that this year will be Plum Canyon’s last trip to Camp CIMI, all one needs to see is the faces of the students at CIMI and observe their joy first-hand to understand what a mistake that would be.

With students attending CIMI who have never seen the ocean, never been on a boat on the ocean or experienced the wonder of swimming with fish all around them, Plum Canyon is doing what is so lacking in so many schools today: providing an educational experience that’s also a life experience.

Ask any sixth-grader who has been to CIMI what the best thing about the grade was, and the answer is almost always CIMI.

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