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USGS Partners with St. Petersburg, FL, Elementary School

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"Mentoring provides a unique opportunity to change lives—a child's and your own. I encourage everyone to mentor. In this complex world, it is a simple way to make a difference."
-- Mayor Rick Baker

The mayor of St. Petersburg, FL, strummed his guitar while students from Perkins Elementary School's orchestra and chorus sang "We Are The World." At an April 14 ceremony, Mayor Rick Baker announced the successful recruitment of partners for all of St. Petersburg's 27 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, 5 high schools, and 3 secondary schools. Partners will work with the schools in various ways, some providing financial support, others sending employees to lend volunteer support. The ceremony gave partners and school principals the opportunity to meet and get excited about the countless partnership possibilities. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be a partner to Bay Point Elementary Magnet School, known as the "Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology." Echelon Real Estate Services and the USGS will work together to meet the financial and scientific needs, respectively, of the students and teachers at Bay Point.

St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker his guitar
Above: St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker plays "We Are The World" on his guitar while students from Perkins Elementary School sing.

The purpose of the Mayor's Mentors & More Initiative is to help students excel and to augment the limited resources available to local schools. Mayor Baker believes that it is important for the community to get involved in improving education. By increasing school standards, he hopes to attract larger companies to the St. Petersburg area. Mayor Baker said that major concerns for companies considering relocation to St. Petersburg are "Where will my employees' children be attending school?" and "Can we expect a qualified workforce from local schools?"

Other partners with Pinellas County elementary schools include the University of South Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard, and numerous private firms.

Mayor Baker and his staff would like to see the idea of corporate mentoring take root in other cities. To support the spread of community responsibility across America, the mayor decided to make information and advice available from his office. To learn more, visit the Mayor's Mentors & More Web site.

Local School Welcomes USGS as its Partner in the Mayor's Mentors & More Initiative

Lisa Robbins, Rick Baker, Gaye Lively
Above: (left to right) Lisa Robbins (chief of the USGS's St. Petersburg Science Center), Rick Baker (mayor of St. Petersburg), and Gaye Lively (principal of Bay Point Elementary School) embrace after a ceremony dedicated to helping St. Petersburg students.
Teachers gathered in the cafeteria at Bay Point Elementary Magnet School on July 29 to meet Lisa Robbins, director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, and to hear what the USGS can do to enhance the learning experience for students. Bay Point is known as the "Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology." Jennifer Oates accompanied Lisa to the welcome breakfast, prepared by the local PTA. Lisa stressed the need for teachers to use the USGS as a resource. Educational handouts, coloring sheets, CDs, and posters were given to teachers to use in the classroom. The teachers were appreciative and eager to hear about USGS student and teacher resources available online on the Learning Web. Teachers unable to devote an entire day to a field trip because of standardized test requirements in Florida were intrigued by the virtual tours available on the USGS's South Florida Virtual Tour. When asked what they needed, teachers mentioned grade-level tours of the USGS facility and scientific-research presentations. Scientists in the St. Petersburg center have been asked to participate, and some have offered to be mentors or give presentations. As a parent and educator, Lisa feels strongly about the USGS partnership with Bay Point. Principal Gaye Lively and Science Resource Specialist Ron Woolums are the two contacts at Bay Point. For more information about Bay Point, visit the Bay Point Elementary School Web site. For more information about the Mayor's Mentors & More Initiative, visit the Mayor's Mentors & More Web site.

Related Web Sites
Mayor's Mentors & More
Mayor's Mentors & More Initiative
South Florida Virtual Tour
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The Learning Web
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
USGS St. Petersburg Science Center 2004 Open House
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Bay Point Elementary School
elementary school

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in this issue: Fieldwork
cover story:
Eelgrass in Puget Sound

Microbial Ecology of Deepwater Corals

Big Sur's Landslide Hazards

Research Manatee Population Analysis

Gulf of Maine Mapping Portal

Outreach Third Annual "Snake Talk"

USGS Partners with Elementary School

USGS Participates in Teacher Training

Meetings Upcoming AGU Conference on Salt Marshes

Marine Educators Conference

Scientific Community Diversity Initiative

Staff & Center News Oceanographer Joins USGS

Publications September Publications List

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