The Atlantic Salmon Federation, in cooperation with the Nova Scotia Salmon Association and its affiliate network, delivers its Fish Friends Educational Programs to students in grades 4, 5, and 6.
Students learn about the life of salmon and other aquatic creatures in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Activities teach youngsters important conservation and environmental lessons in a hands-on classroom setting.
Over a five-month period (February through June), students absorb information about the life cycles of fish, aquatic habitat, and such concepts as bio-diversity, change over time, adaptation, sustainability, and stewardship.
The premier Fish Friends program is its egg incubation unit in which live fish hatch and grow right in the classroom. At the end of the program, students release their fish into streams near their school.
The classroom incubation is often a focal point
for the students and a good way for the
teacher to give lessons in math, science
and language arts by using the tank as the teaching
tool. These student are happy to have the
tank in their class.
The Fish Friends easy-to-use Curriculum Guide was field-tested in 29 elementary classrooms prior to publication. It assists teachers in instructing their students about the fascinating life history and environmental sensitivity of fishes and other aquatic species. Other teaching aids include posters, brochures, a Fish Friends web site, a computer game called "J.D. Irving Salmon Game" (link through the Fish Friends web-site), and other teaching programs.
At the end of the school year and the Fish Friends lessons, the young fry are released in a local stream. Students get a chance to see "their" fish swim off into their new home. Students often take a special interest in protecting the stream where their fish live
The Fish Friends Family
Get Involved! The Fish Friends Program has been enthusiastically embraced by students, parents, and community leaders and more than 600 schools from Connecticut to Labrador have participated since the program began in 1992.
Fish Friends has kindled, in thousands of youngsters, an appreciation for applied science and a passion for conserving salmon and other aquatic plants and animals.
Families, kids, schools, teachers, organizations, conservationists, anglers, and financial supporters at all levels are welcome to join the Fish Friends family.
ASF's Educational Programs depend financially on donations, corporate sponsorship and the one time fee to participate in the program. ASF manages the program, but volunteers are vital to the actual delivery and servicing of programs in the local schools. ASF Regional Councils and Affiliates have provided much of this support in the past, but any local group can help.
In Nova Scotia there are approximately 100 schools participating in the Fish Friends program covering the province from the Clare area on the SW tip to Cheticamp in Cape Breton. This program has been warmly received by students and teachers alike and our volunteer groups are doing a tremendous job of keeping the program going smoothly.
To get involved or for more information, visit the ASF Fish Friends website at www.asf.ca