NOTL’s Kids Rock Club has a new name and is gearing up ready to provide youth with more experiential learning.
The newly named GeoKids Club has partnered with the Niagara Geopark for the upcoming year.
With this new partnership, club chair Francesca Sorrenti hopes to introduce the kids to a more engaging and entertaining learning environment.
GeoParks are the most recent UNESCO site designations for the protection of geological sites of international significance, the UN agency says.
The Niagara Geopark is a non-profit organization that works to grow the region of Niagara’s pride in their geoheritage and preserve geological sites of importance.
Sorrenti said the plan is to use Niagara’s Geopark to help educate the children about the environment, such as tree species, types of rocks and the history of the land.
The partnership is “going to bring a lot of community connections to the children and a lot more learning for the children,” Sorrenti said.
“So I felt personally that it was a very important decision to collaborate with them because of what they have to offer to the children,” she added.
Last year Niagara Geopark stepped in to help her get additional staff on board to help lighten the workload, as well as geologist and education representative Darren Platakis to help with educating the children and planning the activities.
“It was really about not reinventing the wheel and maximizing what (Fran) had already accomplished,” Platakis said.
“She wanted to broaden what the kids already do and with the Geopark partnership they’ll have a lot more opportunity for networking in the community,” he said.
He added that when kids start getting too old for the club, he hopes they will maintain an interest in geology and stay in contact with the Geopark.
Perry Hartwig, the chair and the Geopark’s resident geologist, added that Sorrenti was especially good at engaging with the children and keeping them interested in what was being taught.
This partnership will benefit both the club and the kids, allowing for more diverse opportunities, such as a club trip this month to Grimsby to explore the conservation area.
In November, the club will also travel to Heartland Forest Nature Reserve with a guide and in December they’ll be ending the year off with a guided hike in Rockway Conservation Area on Pelham Road.
The GeoKids Club will continue to meet monthly at the NOTL Community Centre.
Registration remains open at http://bookwhen.com/cocoandclay.
For more information on the GeoKids Club, visit niagarageopark.com/events/kids-rock-club-monthly-session.