• Dolphin Research Center Supports
    Superintendent's Ultimate Readers Award Program

    In keeping with Dolphin Research Center (DRC)’s commitment to Teaching, Learning and Caring about Marine Mammals and their long history of outreach with the Monroe County schools, the organization teamed up with the Superintendent’s Ultimate Reader’s Award Program (SURA) this year. The organization provided fun-filled, spectacular opportunities to interact with the DRC dolphins as incentives for Marathon students in grades K-12.

    Through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center, a nonprofit organization, promotes  peaceful coexistence between marine mammals and humans and the environment we share with the wellbeing of DRC’s animals taking precedence.  DRC recognizes that reading is fundamental for any educated person and wanted to encourage Marathon students to attain a high level of recreational and informational reading in addition to their teacher’s reading assignments. Working with Media Specialists Ms. Christine Paul  at Stanley Switlik Elementary and Ms. Kathy Lancaster at Marathon Middle and High School, DRC provided some wonderful rewards for the schools’ top readers.

    Ms. Paul and Ms. Lancaster set up the criteria for the awards. Using the Accelerated Reading Program (AR), students who earned 100 points with an average of 85% proficiency had their names put into a drawing at each grade level.  Kindergarten students had to reach a goal of a predetermined number of minutes as recorded by the classroom teacher.

    First Place Prizes for all grades: All interactive dolphin programs
    The first place readers in Elementary school grades K-5 each received free admission to DRC and a Paint with a Dolphin program ($88.00 value), plus free admission for up to five immediate family members to accompany them on that day ($140.00 value). Paint with a Dolphin allows you to get an up-close introduction to a dolphin, and then collaborate in an artistic endeavor by holding a” DolphinArt T-shirt” over the water for the dolphin to paint.

    In the Middle School grades 6-8, first place winners received a Dolphin Dip ($159 value, including admission) and free admission for up to five immediate family members for the day ($140 value).  Standing on a submerged platform, the student will meet and greet their new dolphin friend with a back rub and flipper shake!   Along with other participants and guided by a trainer, they’ll ask the dolphin for an interactive behavior through a hand signal and take part in other fun activities.

    First place prize winners in High School, grades 9-12 each received a Dolphin Encounter swim program ($199 value, including admission) and free admission for up to five immediate family members for the day ($140 value). Often considered the thrill of a lifetime, the winners play with the dolphins in the water doing a variety of interactive behaviors including an exciting dorsal pull.

    Second and Third place prizes for all grades:
    The second and third place prize winners in all grades each received free admission for up to five immediate family members for the day ($140 value). Dolphin Research Center offers fun-filled, informative, and exciting behavior sessions with the dolphins and sea lions as well as other educational presentations about every half an hour. Admission also includes access to the colorful Spray Ground with jets and streams of water, as well as recordings of different marine mammal sounds.

    Winners for MMS and MHS as well as Kindergarten were drawn on April 28 at the SURA awards. Elementary grades 1-5 were drawn on May 24 at the Accelerated Reader’s Luncheon.

    Dolphin Research Center is deeply committed to providing educational experiences to Monroe County school children.  The organization hosts free field trips, outreach programs, and a special Ocean Celebration Day for hundreds of Monroe County/Florida Keys’ students.

    Dolphin Research Center is proud to support our young readers in Marathon. For additional information on programs and membership please visit www.dolphins.org

    Congratulations to all our winners!

    Switlik Winners:
    K-      Xiaya G., Lavarski S., & Diego S.
    1-      Josiah W., Mathew M., Niko K-V.
    2-      Addison C., Tinashay C., Shamar W.
    3-      Marshall C., Lerian R., Dakota C.
    4-      Shaika B., Kayesha C., Marquisha A.
    5-      Sara B., Michael D., Henry H.

    MMS/MHS Winners:
    First place for Dolphin Dip prize:
    6-   Jocelyn Cruz, Joseph Cabrera, Felicity Rodriguez, Destiny Story
    8-   Mariah Muino, Christian Ruz, Ria Rodriguez, Devyn Wenger, Brett More

    First place for Dolphin Encounter:
    10- April Sullivan, Ben Ryder, Timothy Hribar, Brittany Cobbs, Tania Guitierrez, Sarah Mandile

    Photos courtesy of Kaitlin Prince