BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo Receives Grant from Entergy to Continue Project ARK

August 22 2017

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo received a grant from Entergy that will support the continuation of its Project ARK: Animals Reaching Kids program in EBR area schools throughout the 2017/2018 school year. Project ARK, which started in 2015, targets 4th and 5th grade classrooms in schools with a majority of students identified as at-risk, at a pivotal time for STEM education. The program offers off-site services to these schools with hands-on encounters with education animal ambassador & interactive programming that all compliments the existing science curriculum.

Jennifer Shields, Education Curator, said “An example of some of the programs include the Web of Life which delves into what connects us to the planet, students learn how they fit in and how to make the planet a better place. We also offer Native Neighbors which explains major ecosystems, animals of Louisiana, and an overall appreciation for wildlife.”

The program takes place in August, September, December, January and February. In 2016, the Zoo saw the following successes with Project ARK:

  • 70% penetration in 23 schools identified as candidates
  • 1,700 students reached in EBR parish
  • 36% of students scored a 70+ on pre-tests
  • 42% of students scored a 70+ on post-tests
  • Greater sense of empowerment about helping native species – jumped from 58% pre-test to 74% post-test.

“We see the value in programs of this type and are thrilled to be able to provide additional opportunities for youth in our local communities to learn about wildlife, habitats, environmental issues, and how we can all be good stewards of this planet. Entergy is committed to STEM education and Project ARK is the perfect fit for that dedication,” said Greg Guilbeau, Senior Customer Service Manager at Entergy.